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APO 512 . 



20 November 1943 



I>JUM3ER 50 : 



The digest of combat experience arid battle, lessons', from " 
the Sicilian -Campaign contained ■herein is ' published ' f or : information 
and guidance., in the training of the command. • 


1 C-in-C 

1 C/S 

1 D C/S 

il Secretary, General Staff 

1 D T/C 

10 Fifteenth Army Group 

100 Seventh Army ' . 

200 Fifth Army 

25 DMT (British) 

20 HQ. Command, Allied Force 

10 ET0USA 

5 CG, V Corps, (U.S.) UK 

: 10 AGF, Washington 

5 AGF Board, AFHQ V " 

2 Operations Division, WD General Staff, Washington 
2 GHQ, MSF, Cairo 

20 ABS . • [ 
100. MBS (To Include distribution to newly arrived units )•-. 

20 EBS ' ' 

20 IBS 

20 PBS 

70 General and Special Staff, AFHQ 

40 General and Special Staff, ' NATOUSA 

75 G-3 TRG. , AFHQ 

10 t G-3 NATOUSA 

2 ' Intelligence Officers ' Training Center, Allied Force 

2 G-2 WD General Staff , Washington 

2 , Director of. Military Intelligence, War Office, London" 

2 ' Military Intelligence Training Center, Camp. Ritchie, Md., USA 

3 JICA ... : - . > . 
•1 Special Service Section, NATOUSA * 

1 Australian Military Liaison Office, GHQ,MEF, ; .Cairo 
#fi'fh$.prC, Allied Force, Southwest Pacific- .'- 

5 ■ 'CG,' fykf Army Forces in China 

6 GH$, 'Mia, Delhi 

,2 ^^rei^jLlied Commander, Southwest Asia, Delhi - 

% GflQ, (Srijdsh) Australia 

v 'fi$, 4 Twen£$first Army Group, UK 

itlfl-i V.- it 

If* -ff IP**' . 

Reference , Table of Contents . 



1. Nature and 'Scope of Publication. . . . . . . . .1 

2. Soundness of Basic Principles ......... 1 

3. Preface to Description of the Campaign 1 


4. Two Phases of the Campaign ..... . . . . , . . . l 

5. Allied Air Superiority. 2 

• 6. Pursuit Action and Enemy Delaying Action. . . . . . 2 

7. Irffluence of the Terrain 2 

8. limited Road Net. . . .. " ... . ..... . . 2 

9. Combined Influence of Terrain and Road Net . ".' : . . . 3 


10. General. . . , 3-6 

10 a. Mountain Warfare : . . . \ . . . . , . . 3-4 

10 b. ' Pursuit Action . . . . ..... . 4*6 

11. Troop Leadership and Command. . . . . . . . ... 6 

12. Pack and Hand Transport in Mountain Operations. . . 7-8 

13. 1 Employment of the Infantry Support Weapons . . . . 8-10 

14. Scouting and Patrolling 10-11 

15 • Infantry-Tank Cooperation 11-12 

16. .. Night Attacks. ......... r .... . ... 12-1£ 

17. Volume and Distribution of Infantry Fire. . . . . . 13-14/ 

18. Infantry Advance Under Artillery Fire.. . .. . . . 14-15 

19. Communications . . '. . ... . .15^6 

20. . Employment. of the 4.2 Chemical Mortar.. ..... . 16^-17 

21. Camouflage . and Camouflage Discipline .-• . . . . . . .18 


Reference - Table -of 'Contents 
Paragraph - Page- 

22. Enveloping Tactics, . . ."<.'. . . . . . . .18 

23. Dealing with Enemy Counterattack . . . , . . . .18-19 

24. Use of Snipers and Dealing with Enemy Snipers. ... 19-20 

25. Use of Antitank Rifle Grenades and. Bazookas . . . . .20 

26. Pillbox Reduction and Neutralization. , t , . . , .20-21 

27. ». Provision for Fresh Reserves , ' . . ' . .21 

28. Night Operations in General. . . ..... , . > . .22 

29. Infantry Officer Training in Artillery Fire Adjustment. .22 • 

30. Miscellaneous . . . , . . . t . . ,22-24 
30 a. liap Reading . . . . . . ... . . . . .22 

. 30 bV location of Slit Trenches to Avoid Tree Bursts. . .22 

30 c. . Use of Compass . ... ...... . . . . .23 . 

30 d. Locating Enemy Weapons from their Fire . . . . .23 

30 e. Field and Combat Firing . . " . . . .23 

30 f. Realism and Battle Innoculation. ' . \ . . , .23 

30 £. Importance of Company Runners . ♦ . . f . . .23 

30 h. Reconnaissance . , . .23 

30 i.' , Instruction in Enemy Order of Battle and Tactics . .23 
30 j. Hill Fighting and Fighting Across Country . ... ,23 . 

30 k. Location and Employment of Local Reserves . . ... .23-24 


31. ' -General. . : : . . , . . ; 1 : . . .' . 24-27' 
31' a; • 'General Excellence of Artillery Support . . , . 24 r 

31 b; Influence of Air Superiority . . ' . : . . . . . 25' 
31 c. • • Soundness of Basic Principles and Doctrine . . 25' 
31 d. ■ Effectiveness of Fire- . . . ." . ~ . " . . 25-27' 

32. • Major Lessons in Nummary . ' ... . . . 27-29' 



• Reference Table of Contents 
Paragraph * Page 
33* . Tactical -Snployraent. . . . . . .. • . . . . . 29-31 

33 x a. . Standard Ta'ctical* Employment Used Throughout ... 29 

33 b, . Organic and Reinforcing Units 29 

33 c. .Employment in Mass . . ... . . . . . . .29-30 

33 d. . -Corps 'Artillery Brigade and Integrity of Units/ . . 30 

33 £. Employment of Observation Battalion .. , . . .30-31 

34. Operational Technique' .. . .. . : . . . .. .. . . . 31-36 

34 a. Occupation of Position. . , ; . . . . . . . 31-32 

34 b. Organisation of Position 32-33, 

34 c» Night Operations 33 

34 d. Fragmentary Orders and Modified RSOP . . . ... 33-34 

34 e.. Selection of Battalion Position Areas . . . . . 34-35 

34 f . « Reconnaissance , . . . . 35 

34 £. Road Traffic .Control. . ..... . . . 35 

34 h.. • Role of 'Artillery- in Pursuit, Action . • . , . 35-36 

34 i. . • Observers v/ith' Di vision Reconnaissance Units . • .36 

35 . Gunnery. , . . , ...... 36-40 

35 a. Principles and Technique . ........ . . . . .36 

35 b. Forward Observation. \. . . 36-37 

35 c. Counterbattery . • ■"*.. .... . . . . 37-33 

35 d. ' Rolling Barrages 33-39 

35 e. Unobserved Fires. . ... . . . . . . . . .39 

35 f . Time Fire . . t . .... . ... . » . . .39 

35 £. Flexibility and Massing of Fires . . . . . . 39-40 

36. Communications . • . t . • . • :, » . • . . . 40-41 

36 a. General. . .. . . . , . . . . . . . . 40 

36 b. Radio Relay ........... . . . 40-41" 

36 c. Heed of Radio Maintenance Technicians. . . . • .41 

36 d. Radio Discipline and. Procedure . . . : . . . • «. 41 



:. Ref erence Table of Contents * 

Paragraph - '■ p age 

36 e. • Training of Additional Radi6 ' Operators . , , . .'41 

37 • • ' Artillery Air 1 OP . : . . . . ' . . ... . 41-44 

37 a. • . General , . , '. . 41-42 

37 • Tactical Employment . ' .' . . : , . ' .' 42 

37 c # • Operational • Tecnnique . . . . . ' 43 

37 d. ' ■ ♦ Goramunications ; . . ' \ ...... .43-44 

37 e, - Vulnerability to Enemy Action J'". .' . . » . . .44 
37 f. , • Effect -of -Observation 'Aircraft on Enemy Batteries . 44 

38. • Survey Methods and Operations . • . . ", : . . . 44-45 

39- . • Camouflage and Camouflage Discipline; • • 45-46 
40, • Miscellaneous.'-'. . t "! , . . . . . . . . 46-47 

40 a. " •« '"' Dealing with the-ftebelwerfer and Roving Guns. . . 46 

40- b.v •' Use of White Phosphorus. . * . .' , . . . . 47 
40 c. « Training in Use of Foreign Haps t . , . . . ". 47 
40 d. ' • Essential Records and Reports- ' , ; t , . . . 47 
40 e. . Declination of Instruments. • , . ♦ . ",47 


41. . General ..«.«.. . . , . . . , 48-49 

41 a. Influence of Terrain.. and Rapid Movement. .... 48 

41 b. Iflajor Role of Armored Forces in Sicily. , . , . 48 
^ • ; ,. , . •« ' ' 

41 c. Suitability of Light Tanks. . J . . 48 

~ , , - • ... . - • 

41 d. Effect of Unit Training in Limited^ Areas. .. ♦ . .48 

• • •»«'■-■ * ■ 

41 e. Experience of Armor in Sicily Limited ... . .49 

42. Small Unit Operations. , v. ......... 49 

43. Indirect Fire for Tanks . . . . .... . . .59 

44. Gunnery and Combat Firing . . »• . . • * . • 50 

45. Use of Assault and Mortar Platoons. . . ... .. . . 50-51 


Reference - Table of Contents - 

Paragraph - Page 

47 1 " Maintenance. * . ". ** v : '• ' V ' V V •' • '» • . " .51 

48.. . Supply, in a •Rapidly .Advancing Situation .', . . .51-52 

49* • Miscellaneous . ," ; ♦ ' . . " , ' . , ... * .52-53 

49 a. Prisoners of War. ... . , . . . f , .52 

49 b. * Mopping Up' in the Wake of Armored Advance . .52 

49 £. Locating Antitank Guns by Muzzle Flash . . . .53 

49 d. Avoidance of ' Towns in Rapid Advance . . , , .53 


50. .• General . - • V' , . ' . ' . . '. , .53-55 
.50 a,. Extensive Use of Mines. , . . . . ... .53 

50 b. .General Pattern of German Mine Laying. .' . .53-54 

50 c. Antipersonnel Mines and Booby Traps . , , , ,54 

50 d. . - : Major "Lesson of the Campaign. • , . . .54-55 

51. Lessons and Experience from Infantry Units . , .55-56 

51 a. Infantry Must' Clear Mines When Necessary, . , .55 

51 b. Cooperative Action between Infantry and Engineers. 55 .- 

51 c.. . • Methods of Organizing Infantry Mine Clearing .55-56 

51 d. Effectiveness' of S-Mines on Infantry . , . . .5*6 

52. Lessons and Experience from Field Artillery Units 56-57 

52 a. Clearing - ; of Battery Positions '. . .56 

52 b. Technique of .Sweeping Positions. f 56 

52 c, Methods' of Organizing Artillery Mine Clearing . .57 

53. Lessons and Experience from Armored Units. . , ♦ .57 

54. ' Miscellaneous , . t . . . . .... . .57-60 

«54 a. Types of Mines Encountered .... . , .57-58 

54 b. • Effectiveness' of Enemy Mine Operations . , . .58 

54 c. Passage of Mined Beaches ........ .59 

-54 d. ' Sandbagging of Vehicles . . . , . . . . .59 

54 e. Avoidance of Souvenir Hunting . . . f , . ,59 

' (v) 


Reference Table of Contents 

Paragraph ... Page 

54 f. Avoidance 'of Riding on Running Boards of Vehicles , 59 

54. g.. Multiple Laying of Mines. . . >'. # . . . , . ♦ 6b 

54 h. • Avoidance of Uncleared Areas by Vehicles . . , . 60 


55. ' General. , . ' . ' f V , , , , , . . . . 60-62 

55 a. ' Necessity for Planning, Training, and Cooperation . 60 
55 b. First Phase, Air Support . . f , , • , , , , . 60-61 
5,5 c. Second Phase Air Support. % _ p. ..»,, •. • • • • . 61 
55 d, ^ . Third Phase Air Support. . f . , . . , . . . . 61-62 

56. ' Ground Identification by Pilots. , •> , ♦ , , ..62-64 

57. • Aircraft Identification by Ground Troops, . • ♦ . . ,,64-65 

58. Aerial Photography and Reconnaissance. . y . , . 65-66 


59. Example Set by Uell- Trained Units in their 

First Campaign. .... . y ; , ... • • . 66 

60. Actual Combat Experience not the Essential Prerequisite 

* To "Successful Battle Operations . .. . . • 66 

61. 1 Theory that Prior Actual Combat Experience is Essential 

to Successful Battle Operations Disproved in Sicily , 67 


"Since the capture of MESSINA I have had the opportunity of 
examining many of the battlefields from the side of the enemy. 
As a 'result of this, I am more than ever impressed with the 
self-sacrificing valor, endurance, and. resourcefulness of the 
American soldier. He is' a peerless fighting man." 

Lieutenant General G.S. Patton, Jr., 
Commanding General, Seventh Army. 




1. ' The material contained in this publication is not to be 
considered as tactical doctrine. 'It represents a summary of the major 
lessons from the land operations ' of. the Sicilian Campaign, digested 
from reports of the Army Commander, Corps and Division Commanders, and 
from reports and testimony of lower unit commanders and officers who 
participated. It is believed that the lessons and examples given herein, 
if applied with judgment and consideration of individual situations, will 
be of value in the training of units and individuals who have not yet 
entered combat, or have yet to experience combat under conditions such 

as prevailed in Sicily. 

2. In all reports and testimony of battle experience the 
soundness of basic principles prescribed : in standard training literature 
has been confirmed. Detailed study of the land operations in the 
Sicilian Ccjupaign reveals very little that can properly be called "new" 
in combat lessons. The application and modification of basic doctrine 
to meet effectively the peculiar characteristics of the campaign did 
present a number of interesting and valuable lesson-experiences. 

3. The distinctive aspects and peculiarities of the campaign 
should be fully appreciated in order that the summary of combat expe- 
rience and battle lessons presented herein may be understood in its 
proper perspective. For this reason the following section outlining 
the general nature of the operations is included. 


4. In general, the Sicilian Campaign consisted of two phases for 
the United States forces: a large-scale amphibious landing operation, and 

, a mountain campaign. The subject matter of this publication pertains 

- 1 - 

to the latter only.. 

5« The Allied operations in Sicily were marked by .almost complete 
air superiority. Except during the initial landing phase, the enemy air 
activity was almost negligible. This fact, in connection with the limited 
road net^ which was used to capacity because of the prevailing terrain, played 
an important part in the rapid and successful advance of our forces. 

, 6. The campaign of the American forces after the initial estab- 
lishment and extension of the beachheads was on the whole a pursuit action 
throughout. The enemy for the most part fought a stubborn rearguard and . 
4elaying action, and utilized the terrain, prepared defenses, mines, and 
demolitions to the fullest possible extent. This special nature of the 
action is particularly important in any consignation of the combat lessons 
contained below. 

7, The terrain was an important factor in shaping the campaign 
and the combat experience that resulted. The country fought over was of 
the roughest kind. Its chief .features were high, rocky mountains and 
hills of volcanic origin cut by narrow and enclosed valleys and dry 
watercourses. Except for the limited roads, the ground communication 
throughout this terrain was confined to tortuous tracks and trails.. 
Such terrain as this, encountered throughout most, of the island, presented 
difficulties of movement and transport not generally equalled in the 
Tunisian Campaign. 

&. In almost every sector the road nets were very limited, and 
restricted. In the northern coastal area where German resistance was 
especially stubborn, communication was practically confined to one road 
which was flanked on one side by steep mountains cut by tranverse valleys, 
and on- the other by the sea. Over this single.- road the advance in this 
sector was forced to move in pursuit of the. withdrawing .enemy y/ho demolished 
almost every bridge from PALERMO to MESSINA, The same road had also to 
serve for communications and supply. 

- 2 - 

9. The nature of the. terrain, together ;with the lack of 
parallel, auxiliary, or alternate -roads, necessitated, many , phases .'of 
mountain warfare' on a scale, not hitherto experienced in- this -Theater.* v 
It was necessary . in a number of -units ,to adjust certain' aspects of 
organization/ maneuver, and^supply to fit -the situation '-that: the 
terrain and delaying action of . the renemy- presented, 


10, MINERAL . 

a , Mountain Warfare • 

"The major lesson of *all arms, and infantry parti cularlyy 
was the achievement of rapid* and successful offensive action -in diffi- 
cult, mountainous terrain under conditions not previously encountered* . 
Three general lessons of mountain warfare were outstanding and applica- 
ble to all units: 

(1) The ability to withstand the excessive physical 
strain that continuous mountain combat imposes on foot troops. The 
nature of the operations demonstrated the necessity for a degree of 
physical conditioning and hardening not previously realized. Experience 
in Sicily leads to the conclusion that the training of troops in prep- 
aration for such operations must be conducted in rugged hills and moun- 
tains. Unit commanders agreed that ordinary hardening marches over 
relatively flat or rolling country will not suffice for the level of 
stamina and field hardening required .by mountain combat, • 

(2) The necessity of conducting rapidly advancing infan- 
try operations without the aid of normal vehicular transport for heavy 
weapons, ammunition, supplies, and rations. The foot troops had ts resort 
frequently to pack animals, hand transport, and to all manner of field 
improvisation to keep up the vital equipment and supplies as the advance 
was pushed through difficult and rugged terrain. 

(3) A forceful repetition of a major lesson learned' in 
the Tunisian Campaign: the necessity of siezing high ground and the 
avoidance of natural approaches. The terrain in Sicily brought out this 
lesson with greater emphasis 'than before. The securing of dominant 
terrain for observation, the working of units' along high ridge 'lines 
and down to force the enemy -out of positions in the valleys and at 
the heads of natural approaches*-- these principles were of the greatest 
importance to the success of infantry, action. 

b. Pursuit Action 

(1) In general there were no "new" lessons from the 

pursuit aspects of the campaign. After' the initial beachheads had. been 

established, the action became a continual advance before which the 

enemy withdrew, stubbornly- fighting from delaying positions which were 

covered by mines, obstacles, and demolitions. The Commander-in-Chief 's 

personal representative in the combat area described the campaign as 

.. ,a continuous, unrelenting attack. From the time 
American troops landed on the beach until "they entered 
MESSINA the pressure on the enemy was never relinquished. . 

Similarly the experience of the 1st Infantry Division was described in 
the report of its Commander: 

». , .The Germans and Italians in the 1st', Division sector 
') . abandoned any attempt to drive the American forces off . , 

the island and' resorted to purely defensive tactics with 
only sharp local -counterattacks. As a.' result of this the 
1st Division "was continually on the offensive while the 
Germans were defending successive delaying positions 
covering the' withdrawal of troops, equipment, and supplies 
within the MESSINA bridgehead. . 

Throughout the advance the principles of vigorous, aggressive action 

of all units, resourcefulness and determination in the passage of 

obstacles and mined areas, and the application of constant pressure 

to deny the enemy time and opportunity for rest or preparation of 

positions were essential to the action of the infantry. The experience 

of the 9th Infantry Division was summed up by its Commander, with 

particular reference to the maintenance • of contact in pursuit: 

- 4 

. .Failure to .keep contact, during an.. enemy, withdrawal 
allows time for a well-organized occupation of a previous- 
ly prepared position. Troops must, push..forward immediately, 
in spite of mines, and demolitions when contact i3 lost'* ' 
Infantry must move forward cross-country removing mines . .. . 
themselves and supplying themselves "by mule or light 
transportation. '" • : . 'J 

(2) In rapid advance against a withdrawing enemy 

the need of heavy weapons in the advance guard was ^recognized ■ early 

in the campaign. Battalions adjusted their advance formations to meet 

this need, and successful' results were obtained. In qne or two instances 

when unit commanders did not press 'their heavy weapons well forward in 

pursuit, ' unfavorable situations developed.' This principle was brought 

out in the report of the 9th' Infantry Division: 

. -.The .Heavy weapons company - t must be the base of the 
advance of the entire battalion. , Therefore to facilitate 
the advance, of the battalion it must be driven home to 
those . responsible for the organization and equipment of 
the infantry battalion that /the ; heavy weapons cannot be 
man-handled and still keep up with the advance of rifle 
companies., . .whenever pack mules, could be secured. * . 
they were furnished to heavy weapons, companies and in* 
such instances the heavy weapons companies had-. no trouble, 
keeping up with the rifle companies. Whenever the heavy' 
weapons had to be carried by hand, the heavy weapons ' ■ ; . 
company" usually lagged behind, and in one . instance this, _, : , 
had serious .consequences. One battalion, which had advanced 
well ahead of its heavy weapons company surprised and took 
a German position early in the morning. Shortly afterward 
the battalion, which had only two rifle companies forward, 
was forced to defend its position against' a counterattack _ • 
without the support of its heavy weapons company. The 
battalion .was driven from the position. .' 

-(3) Effective : pillbox reduction and town clearing'. 

played an important part in the pursuit action. Prior specialized 

training in these subjects proved invaluable in the campaign. Like-. 

wise the passage of towns which were made to Serve as obstacles by 

the withdrawing enemy proved to" be formidible tasks in some instances'. 

The best example - of this problem was. reported by the Commanding General 

of the 1st Infantry Division: ' . 

". . .Contact was initially broken when a town, which had 
within it the only road through'. the area, was- completely 
demolished. . lanes were found every, five . or ten feet, all 
bridges were blown and river beds were mined, craters 
were blown, in roads t and mountain slides were dropped on 
the only existing supply route. . . " * 

(k) Throughout the pursuit operations the necessity 
for the use of oral fragmentary orders was felt, and this medium of 
directing the action of the lower units was .extensively used with good 


a. The necessity of aggressive and sustained troop leader- 
ship stood out in oven bolder relief in Sicily than in previous fighting. 
In the mountain fighting that prevailed, the difficulties of terrain, 
supply, and other factors imposed even greater requirements of initiative, 
responsibility, and resourcefulness on the junior leaders and non- 
commissioned officers. This. subject was thus summarized in the statement 
of an infantry battalion .executive, given the day after MESSINA, fell: 

. .There must be more. . .training in the elements of 
initiative and responsibility, in ability to meet 
unexpected situations, and in acting on sound decisions 
made on individual responsibility., No one in our outfit, 
expected to meet the situations we encountered in Sicily. 
In the U.S. the field problems were generally too cut 
and dried. . .One thing, we have got to stop belittling 
the fighting ability of the German. The enemy is vicious, 
clever, and ruthless. It's going to take leadership of 
the highest order to whip him for good and all, . ." 

b. The exercise of command in the immediate. scene of action 

rather than from rear command posts was also a subject of importance in 

the reports of higher commanders , In this connection the Commanding 

General of the. Infantry Division has stated:. 

". . .Our teachings in peace time have overemphasised the 
command post and the personnel functioning thereat. As a 
matter of fact, in the properly led battalion and regiment . 
the command post is improperly named. The commonly under- 
stood command post, is in reality an information center. " 
The command post is wherever the Commander is located. 
In this operation (Sicily) the commander who spent much • 
of his time at the command post as we teach it, failed to 
perform his duties. It must be impressed upon all command- 
ers that their place in combat is at a place where they 
can observe the fight. No man can be sure of a decision 
made from second-hand information .and a study of a map. .'*.." 
The commander should see 'the ground and he should see 
the reactions of both friendly ..and enemy troops. . 


The mountainous ' terrain and necessity for- cross-country- 
operations often precluded the use of vehicular trans port of heavy 
weapons, ammunition, and supplies. As a result units resorted to pack- 
animals, hand transport, and various forms of improvisation to keep* up 
their weapons and the flow of supplies to front line elements. Wherever- 
possible animal transport was utilized/ and native mules' were obtained • 
locally. The 3rd" Infantry Division used'650 of these animals. The 
necessity of providing for this form of transport organically When 
operations in mountains ' are' 'contemplated was emphasized in the report* 
of the Commanding General, II Corps: v ' * '•'•'-. 

, . Infantry * divisions successfully employed- pack mules 
throughout the. Sicilian Campaign. > '.In contemplated op- 
erations in mountainous terrain, plans should include • 
facilities for supply by' pack train, A division, pack 
train organized on the basis "of a section- consisting of 
about 25 mules with Phillipps pack saddles to support 
each rifle battalion has proved a .necessity in this 
type of terrain...., 

The problems and deficiencies as a result of using local and improvised 

pack trains were pointed out by the Commander of the 9th Infantry . J. 


".• . .Infantry can advance only so far without receiving 

its daily supplies of water, ammunition, and food. In 

this campaign, even in the- case of infantry advancing 

along a main road, the advance was temporarily held up 

due primarily to difficulties 'of supply; Due to the fact 

that. . .the terrain was such that motor vehicles could 

not be used. . .pack mules had to be used. A better 

solution for transporting supplies, ammunition, and 

heavy weapons in mountainous terrain must be devised. ■' ; 

The time wasted in going long distances by truck to 

procure mules might well be a< vital factor in "the " 

success or failure of an operation. A conglomeration 

of pack equipment was finally Collected that was- neither 

adequate nor efficient. Inexperienced packers did the 

best they could and the drain on manpower to furnish 

packers and mule leaders was quite heavy. . , " 

Experience in the campaign led the above quoted Division Commander to 

recommend that: " • •/:/ • •• - • 

a. Organized pack trains be provided in Corps or* Army 

reserve for any operations where mountainous terrain is to be encOunt-' 

b. When organized pack trains cannot be made available, 

a stock of American' pack- equipment should be provided, Including special 
pack saddles for the 75mm mountain howitzer and the heavy' weapons of the 

c, Units- should- ; be provided with pack equipment and mules 
on a loan basis during the training period before an operation in order 
that instruction in packing may be given. 

V/hen local mules were not available, or were unserviceable because of 
overwork, hand transport, of weapons, ammunition, and supplies became 
necessary, • Alaskan type pack-boards were often improvised, as well as 
slings and other methods of hand-carrying. .The rigid. type frame was 
found most satisfactory for carrying mortar parts and -bombs,- and other • 
heavy items. In one instance; a, ;1 human.. .pack .';traih was organized to carry 
rations to front line elements, more' than six. miles- from the ration dump. 
Each man carried two engineer sandbags filled with K-rations, the bags 
being tied' together and carried front and rear over the shoulder. . 


The campaign demonstrated the necessity for proper 

employment and coordination of all infantry support weapons. The .terrain 

imposed extreme difficulty in weapon operation and. ammunition supply, but 

the lesson that the support weapons are^ .vital, especially in mountain 

fighting, was driven home to all*, unit commanders. The Commander of the 

9th Infantry Division again .reiterated the lesson of his division in 

Tunisia that "infantry must use their organic support weapons and request 

artillery support onlyitfhen resistance dealt with locally." 

The Army Commander in his ; comments on the use of the heavy weapons 

company has stated: • ' . ■ 

". . ,The best practice is for the heavy weapons company to 
work as a unit under the battalion, to support one or both 
leading companies, and to provide covering fire for the 
third rifle company when the latter is used 1 to maneuver. 
It has been found that in very difficult country the . 
heavy machine gun section. of two guns produces better 
rasults if one gun is left with the transportation and 
all members of that gun squad act as relief carriers and 

- 8 - 

bring up airammition, '3^e largest., n 

by . a heavy machine' gun in one' day was between 5 > 000 and 
6,000. The high' average, for the ■ 81mm mortar, .was BOO'' in 
one day. . .There is a case. on record where two 60mra 
mortars fired 1>000 rounds in one day. . . " 

Similar practice with respect to the 31mm mortar, was recommended in the 

statement of a heavy weapons company commander who reported, that "in 

mountain warfare like this it is not. practicable to carry more than 

two 81 1 s into the attack. You just can't supply the ammunition for more. 

It is better to have two mortars firing all the time than to. have six . 

for only a short while." The use of. all supporting weapons in attack .. 

was also mentioned with exphasis by a -battalion commander of the 30th 

Infantry who declared that all officers:. 

". . .must be taught what coordinated attack means— the 
use of all weapons of all types with proper timing and 
prearranged .preparation. Every mee,ns -at the commander's 
disposal must be used, and at the right time. . ." 

Another battalion commander in the 130th Infantry expressed similar.' 

conviction as a result of his combat experience throughout the campaign.: 

". . .There must be- mora emphasis on the training in. . . 
coordination of the weapons company with the rifle com- 
panies. ,The rifle companies must be better trained to : ,• . 
work with the weapons company.' 1 In some cases they seemed 
to forget that., they had- heavy 'Weapons in support. In one - 
case when a rifle. company was- forced to fall back, it 
withdrew behind . the mortars . There must be more training 
in the coordination of . all weapons — the combined 
infantry aims ..." . N ; , 

Lesson-experiences with the supporting infantry weapons in the 45th 

Infantry Division were summed up by the Division Commander- in his report, 

which disclosed the excellence of the. 37mm gun, a weapon. that received 

less, favorable comment in Tunisia: > 

". . .It was found during' this operation- (Sicily) that • 
whenever the supporting weapons of the battalion were r 
employed properly, excellent results were obtained. 
Unfortunately in many cases battalion commanders were 
lax in making the full use of the powerful support 
which they had in hand. - In all training which ohe 
Division is now undergoing and which all divisions 
undergoing training should emphasize, is the. import- 
ance of the full use of the. mortar, both light and 
heavy, and the heavy machine gun. Plans must also 
be made for the use r of . the 57nm and the 37mm gun 
when the .occasion arises. . It was "found- that the : 57ffirn, 
though employed v/hehever the occasion arose, v/as •• 
difficult to move because of its method of transport- 

ation. The effectiveness of the fire of • this • 
weapon is excellent . : The 37mtn was extremely 
effective,, highly mobile, and produced excellent " 
results* It should be remembered" that this weapon 
'when fired at a range of 300 to 400 yards was highly 
effective against all types of-* targets, but when em- 
ployed at longer ranges it had considerable less 
effect. , .'» 


The prime necessity of well trained, aggressive and 
resourceful patrols was again emphasized in the Sicilian Campaign, 
with greater emphasis because of the mountain fighting. The importance 
of night patrolling was again demonstrated. Because of the rapid enemy 
withdrawal in some sectors, which resulted in accelerated advances of 
our troops, motor patrolling in 1/4-ton vehicles likewise assumed import- 
ance. The use of long range foot patrols was also useful, as attested 
by the Commander of the 9th Infantry Division: 

. .In the advance of large bodies (that is, up to include a 
regiment) through sparsely defended country but where certain 
organized centers of resistance are encountered in the advance > 
both time and lives can be saved by maintaining long range 
foot reconnaissance ahead of the body of troops . This foot 
reconnaissance should be executed by small patrols, stripped 
for rapid movement, and equipped with radios. As long as, the 
advance is not being seriously impeded,' the main body can 
move as a fast column over existing trails and roads, and 
not be concerned with having to move semi-deployed, . . " 

Vigorous patrol action was also brought out in the. report of the 1st 

Infantry Division. The Commander's comments show the effectiveness of 

trained patrols properly used: 

". . .Aggressive patrols were again found essential. , .In 
one case a 16th - Infantry patrol in front of the regimental 
position dispersed with 50-calibcr machine gun fire a 
German demolition detail in the act of blowing up a 
bridge. In numerous cases our patrols would go up one 
side- of a hill while the Germans were retreating down 
the other side. Contact was not lost. . . " 

The effectiveness of German patrol action was again noted, and ruses 

first encountered in Tunisia v/ere present in Sicily. Several tricks 

employed by the enemy in their night patrols were thus described by 

a staff officer of the 179th Infantry: 

. .Train your men in the interpretation of night sounds. 
The Germans are clever in night sound signals in their patrols. 

They use a series of whistles which closely 
resemble bird sounds or calls— -a. sort of cheeping 
whistle of several sorts-rand they -can fool you very 
easily if you ' are . not, . onJ,to';$henu ; *tWe were pretty generally- 
fooled by them at first/ They, actually got close to us . 
and signalled to each other without... our. knowing it. 
They also use other pounds for control signals which 
imitate , the short barking of dog^^a sort of yapping bark' ;' 
that's damn realistic." Some. of . our men thought they were • 
merely dogs from the nearby deserted houses. • 

The training and use of foot patrols in the divisional reconnaissance 
units -was recommended by the ^ 9th Jnfantry Division as a result of expe- 
rience in Sicily, where operations in ; vehicles were often not possible 
because of mountains, demolitions,; blown bridges, and destroyed road's. 
In this connection the Division Commander reported: 

• ♦Reconnaissance troops when. given the mission of 
maintaining contact with the withdrawing enemy must be 
prepared to follow closely on his heels with foot patrols 
and the organization of reconnaissance squadrons and 
reconnaissance troops should- be modified to provide 
foot patrols capable of sustained operations and 
fighting on foot. The present reconnaissance units 
are designed to operate and fight from their vehicles. 
In the Sicilian Campaign, the road net being extremely • 
limited and demolitions and mining being very heavy, 
reconnaissance .tfnits were delayed through being road 
bound and could not maintain contact with the enemy. . .1 


The- need for sound training of . infantry for combined, 
action with tanks, as' distinguished from the action of the armored in- 
fantry, was again clearly disclosed- in Sicily. ' The enclosed nature, of 
the terrain precluded mass'- action of large' armored ''units , • Tanks when' 
employed, were usually committed to action- in , units of 'less than a 
battalion in close cooperation with supported-' infantry. In'.'some in- 
stances the terrain-', permitted- the- -use- of - : . a, tank battalion '.in mass. .' 
It was noted that new infantry units that had' not seen action in Tunisia 
were poorly trained in cooperation with their , supporting tanks, and their 
commanders strongly recommended- realistic, and practical training in the 
combined action of both arms. The need of this training 'was frankly 
admitted by a battalion executive of the 180th Infantry: 

. .In the U.S. we always trained with what we had, and- ' 
never had any training in cooperation with tanks. When we 

got into actL-J over here in Sicily, and werGgiven tanks 
to assist and support us, we actually didn't know how, to 
use them or work with them. .. There must be real training 
for the infantry vdth actual tanks realistic, combat , 
exercises, • .Wo could have done much better in several 
places over here if we have been given training /in this 
before going' into action. Only twice . did we get real 
benefit or advantage, in the. use . of attached tanks, .and 
this wasn't the armored people's fault. We were just .' 
too' unfamiliar with %ti$ proper way to . use them, . ..!» 

Similar testimony has been given by a staff officer of the 179th' 

Infantry, who reported: 

. '.At GRANIERI we just didn't know how to work with 
the attached . tank unit, YJhen our •tanks came up to support 
us after we had broken up' the German attack, we did not 
follow up the tanks properly as ^ey, went forward. Had . 
we done so we could ' "have ' cleaned* out almost a battalion 
of Germans, We had not been trained to work with. tanks, 
and we . remained in position' after they went forward. 
If we had known how. to gp 'forward with them," we .could 
have done a much better job / and; .could,' have gotten all 
the Germans' vehicles .and^jnateriolV. '•i'» M > •. ' 

In the case of units that.,hadrseen7.cons4.deraJble ; aption/in Tunisia, where 

infantry and tanks had been used in; combined action, the results in Sicily 

were more favorable, ' In. the. 1st Infantry Division, a , high degree of 

success was attained. The Commander of this division summarized his .. 

experience as follows:"' 

. .During the major portion of the. Sicilian Campaign,, 
one battalion of light tanks and one company of medium- •• 
tanks were, attached, to ..this Division... Due . to tlie.. mountain- 
ous type of terrain the tanks were nearly always canalized. 
However it was found that. in certain areas tanks could be 
used to advantage in assisting the infantry in gaining 
ground, by lightning thrusts by tanks followed closely by * 
the infantry assault. Tanks were always used en masse with 
all their ..supporting weapons, and whenever an attack, was 
made the objective was taken. The enemy never knew when 
to expect a tank attack, and as a result many antitank guns 
that were put up close to destroy our tanks were 
overrun by infantry when actually no tank attack was 
contemplated, . .Light tanks were also used for reconn- 
aissance by the .91st Reconnaissance Squadron with excellent 
results, 'They forced the enemy to spread his defenses over 
a wide area and .thus weakened any. one portion of his line, . , 

The light tank, battalion was also instrumental in clearing , 
enemy strong 'points, enemy artillery, and personnel. The 
battalion with, a platoon of medium tanks was used to make 
a sudden attack' down the valley east of GANGI and withdrew. 
This attack accelerated the enemy withdrawal to SPERLINGA 
and NICOSIA, ," ,'• 


The value and effectiveness of night attack were proved 

- 12 - 

in many phases of the campaign. j Their success'was largely due to 

sound previous training in night operations, to careful preparation 

and planning, and thorough /reconnaissance before, such attacks were 

launched. Commanders have, stated that 'the "most serious difficulty in 

such operations 'has been reorganization in darkness after the attack.. 

The Army Commander reported as follows on the subject:" • • 

. .There is considerable feeling in favor of night attacks.. 
When these are used. . .they should be executed by taking ad-, 
vantage of the moon, or they whquld be put 6n'2j hours before 
dawn if there is no moon, in either case on a limited object- 
ive, The heavy weapons and artillery should be put into pos- 
ition and registered the .night before. They can then cover the 
attack until the flashes' of the leading infantry show they are 
coming close to the. objective;. ' ' ' 

. . .A night attack whether' executed by moonlight or just 
prior to dawn must be confined' 'to limited objectives, and 
these objectives, must be carefully reconnoitered the prev- 
ious day, and the men who made the reconnaissance must 
lead the units to the objectives." Tn making this (reconn- 
aissance it is sometimes necessary for patrols to expose 
themselves in order to' draw fire . 

. . .Night attacks against unreconnoitered positions', ' . 
particularly in hilly country, are very apt to fail 
because viewed against the stars or moonlight, one hill 
looks like. another and troops misjudge their locality 
by as much as a thousand yards. t u " ' ' n * u : ; : " 

The experience of 'the 45th Infantry' Division in. night attack was 

particularly successful, and has 1 been summarized by the Division ' 

Commander in his report of the '"'Campaign; ." " \ 

". . .This Division" employed night attacks to -the fullest 
extent possible."' They were universally successful. It was 
found that 'whenever the enemy could be kept on the move 
continually, they, wo re unable to execute demolitions to ' 
the fullest extent and emplace mines.' ' It is believed that ,. 
whenever the enemy employs inferior forces in delaying 
action a continuous pressure must be exerted. Without 
question the employment of successive night attacks 
reduced the casualties of this Division to a considerable 
extent. In many cases the. Axis forces had very well pre- 
pared positions which if attacked during daytime would: 
have caused considerable delay. It is recommended that 
troops be trained to operate . at night at least' 50% of 
the time, and this method of warfare will obtain dividends c 
commensurate with the effort expended. , ." 


The Campaign disclosed that the necessity of building up 
a sustained volume -of infantry fire properly distributed was not 

fully understood and executed.. This deficiency was clearly pointed. out in 
the Array Comnanderls report: . 

. .It is the general concensus of opinion of all officers .. 
who have actually participated in battle that our men do 
not shoot enough. This' is because, we' have for years been . 
taught not to shoot unless the target was seen and was a 
profitable one. This is a mistake, and it. is highly des- 
irable that cpntrolled but continous fire be directed on 
any infested locality from which enemy fire is emanating 
whether or not the individual doing .the shooting can be 
actually seen. . This -statement applies to allotypes of fire . 
available to the. infantry regiment. 

. • .Fire reduces fire, w - that is, firing on the enemy 
reduces his ability to fire on you. If men halt and lie 
down without firing, they are : immediately subjected to 
intense fire; whereas, if they keep moving forward or 
if they open fix'e on the enemy or on •the locality from 
which ho is firing, his fire is immediately reduced. 
. This point must be emphasized in -training .and. in battle— . 
too much stress cannot be put on it. 

. . .Intimately connected- with the foregoing is the que s- f . . 

tion of fire 'distribution*,! Our men have , a tendency to ... 
shoot at obvious portions of a target rather than to fire 
straight to the front at less visible' targets, This results 
in those portions of the enemy who are visible receiving 
all the fire while our men receive the undisturbed ' 
fire -of those portions of. the. enemy who are not so 
clearly visible 

This deficiency in the fire training of our troops was also stressed by 

a battalion commander of the 30th Infantry, in connection with the 

basic principle of fire and movement: 

". . .At times our troops did not make use of the proper 
volume of ; fire to cover the movement of other elements 
to the flanks or forward. In only one instance, in the 
battle at SAN FRATELLQ, did I see proper volume of fire., 
built up to cover . the movement of maneuvering- troops 
against the' enemy. The troops seem to understand the 
principle of fire and movement,, but they failed to grasp - 
the fact that fire means a v olume of fire. Too often 
there,' is a tendency of the men to.' engage -in individual 
sniper daels instead of pinning the enemy -down with a • 
mass of fire...,. 


The lesson experienced in Tunisia, that advancing infantry 

who come under hostile artillery fire ^must continue to go forward and 

not take cover in place, was again driven home in Sicily. This point 

was given emphasis in the report of the Commander of the 9th Infantry 


". . .Infantry should- be taught and convinced that they must 
keep advancing under light artillery fire, and it should be * 
hammered into them, that if they keep . advancing in a dispersed • 
formation they will take less casualties than if they halt 
and give the enemy- -.artillery a fixed target on which to adjust 
and concentrate. . 

An example ^of the soundness of this principle was also given by a 

battalion executive of the 180th Infantry:. 

", • .Men must learn to move properly when hostile artillery 
fire falls on them. Often the areas we moved into had recent- 
ly been abandoned by the Germans. They must have had their 
ranges plotted to a tee, - for they rained, artillery on us 
. . .when we moved through their -abandoned positions. When' 
this fire came down, we learned to go forward to get. out of 
it. . .At CASTELBIBUNO we had just moved into- an area and 
a sudden and severe artillery concentration came. down on 
us. We immediately moved forward. . .Just about the time we 
were moving out, a round came in and burst. about a hundred 
yards to the front of us, followed by one' about a hundred" 
yards in rear. It was a perfect bracket. We moved forward 
at the double, and escaped the.' concentration that plastered 
the area we had been in. With us "had been an" artillery wire 
truck and line crew, and instead of going with us, they 
took cover under what shelter they: could find.. The barrage 
came down and wiped them out. ..truck and all.. - '. 


a. One of the chief lessons from Sicily' was the high 
degree of success in the use of radio relay in mountainous country, 
Radio stations v/ere frequently set up on successive ridges and messages 
were relayed to wireheads. Wire was extended to relieve the rear stations 
which leap-frogged their radios forward to further extend the radio 
relay, This system solved many problems of communication in difficult, 
mountainous terrain. 

b . The need for a trained specialist in radio maintenance 
and repair was again felt in each batta lion. Use of radio in mountain 
country increased the need of maintenance, repair, and .adjustment^ 
largely because of improvised methods of. transportation, carrying. and 
operation in rough country. ' .. 

c. Sound training in line maintenance and trouble shoot- 
ing is vital to infantry wire communications, especially in mountain 
fighting, where much used" trails, tracks, and roads are often the only 
places where lines can be-laid. - .. 

d. . The organization of runners at intervals of approximately 
a mile to carry messages by relay* often proved highly* valuable' for "fast 
foot transmission of information when wire and radio were hot available. ' 

e. On shorter lines, the use of ground return for telephone 
communication often worked better than. the complete wire circuit. The 
use of this method required careful pre-arrangement between stations. 

f. Field telegraph should not be neglected. - In Sicily it 
was often found to work better on long lines than did telephone comm- • • 
unication. Often slight grounding or other interference prevented « • 
effective voice transmission, but did not affect key transmission. 

£. . -Full advantage should be taken of every lull in -opera- 
tions to repair and overhaul signaL equipment. * In action, especially in 
mountains, signal equipment becomes damaged and in need of repair and 
maintenance t Communications officers must be alert to every opportunity 
and possibly for repair, maintenance, and overhaul. • 


An outstanding lesson-experience was the performance of ' 
the 4.2 chemical mortar as a supporting infantry weapon. Vfaite phos- 
phorus and HE) used vdLth this mortar proved to be effective beyond' ex- 
pectations, and comment not only from the' supported infantry but also 
from German prisoners attested the extraordinary power and -value of 
this weapon. Its accuracy, firepower, and devastating effect on 
many types of targets proved invaluable. The transportation and ammun- 
ition problems were fairly well solved by the use of the 1/ 4- ton 
track for a prime mover and for transport of animunitionJt was found that 
the 1/4-ton could also be satisfactorily used to tow the organic chemical 
trailer, and in some instances, trailers were thus hauled in tandem. 

The Army Commander made special comment on these weapons 
in his report at the close of the/ Campaign: 

".:. rTho 4.2 mortar firing white phosphorus, or high ex- 
plosive shell is a terrifically destructive weapon, but 
its present mount is almost wholly immobile and it can • , 

be used only in the first phase of an attack. If it 
could be provided with a tractor-drawn mount from which 
it- could fire it tremendously valuable. . ." 

The JCnny Chemical Officer : also testified to the effectiveness of this 
mortar, and -stated 'that each chemical unit "distinguished itself on 
every occasion that its weapons were employed correctly, and each proved 
the devastating effect of white- phosphorus as an anti-parsonnel weapon." 
This judgment was strongly confirmed by various battalion commanders 
whose units were supported by chemical troops, several of whom recommend- 
ed inclusion of the 4.2 in the organic equipment of the infantry heavy 
weapons company. The commander of the 45th Infantry Division reported 
the following generalized experience:, ' 

. .This weapon ■: was. used throughout -..the entire campaign. 
The 2nd Chemical Battalion was attached to the Division. 
The Division in turn attached one .company to each combat 
team. ->Vhile this mortar with- its means of transportation 
. was difficult to move, it was • -found that it couldibe kept 
up with the troops by personnel of its companies, and as 
a reinforcing weapon it produced excellent results. It 
is believed in most operations, especially in rough 
country, that the chemical battalion should be attached 
to the infantry division as reinforcing troops. In fact, 
an organization such as this would prove of considerable 
value to an infantry division in almost any typo of 
combat. . • " • 


The Campaign revealed the need of more thorough training 
of the rank and file in camouflage and camouflage discipline. Most 
unit commanders felt that it was a case of educating the men more fully 
in the importance and necessity of good camouflage and training them 
to the point where proper camouflage measures become automatic' and 
second nature. Reports' and testimony showed that men must be taught"' to 
take pains, to make their camouflage thorough, and not to be satisfied 
with mediocre or only partly completed v/ork. "Effective camouflage 
cannot be achieved in a hurry. It is hard work, and it is often tedious," 
was the judgment of one battalion executive in* the 45th Infantry Division. 
The Major General personally representing the Commander-in-Chief in the 
battle area stated: 

. .Camouflage is still not the. best that can be obtained. 
The outlines of objects are in many cases not broken by the 
nets. Men can often bo seen from the air in white undershirts 
or stripped to the waist standing in the open and gazing up 
at the plane ..." 


The successful and rapid advance of our forces was largely 

possible because of continual use of enveloping tactics well executed 

throughout. Frontal attack- was avoided. The basic principle of fire 

and movement was adhered to, with emphasis on envelopment from the 

flanks. An excellent example of the success of these tactics was 

reported by the Commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division: 

". . .The double envelopment of the German positions in the 
valley just east of GANGI was executed by sending the 18th 
Infantry deep to the north of the main road to strike east 
and south behind the enemy resistance, the 16 th Infantry' 
to the south of the road to strike 1 east and north behind 
the enemy position, while the '26-th Infantry which held 
positions in the center prepared to. make a frontal 
attack. The : 70th .Tank Battalion (Light) made a speedy 
and limited objective attack east on the main road and 
withdrew after' disorganizing the enemy and destroying 
at least one 77mm gun. This envelopment speeded the 
subsequent capture of NICOSIA. 

A generalization of the subject was made by the Commander-in-Chief ' s 
personal representative in the combat area, who • summarized the camp- 
aign as one "of maneuver under cover of fire," and stated: 

". . .A study of this campaign will show, I am sure, that 
there was not one single frontal attack launched by a 
large unit. This was made possible by our superiority of 
fire power and air support which allowed troops to man- 
euver around the flanks of the enemy. 1 believe that the 
attack on TROINA was the toughest battle Americans have 
fought since World War I, and there were very few in that, 
war which were its equal. The losses which we would have 
suffered in this battle had we; made a frontal attack 
against this highly organized position would have been 
enormous. . . 

. . .The men of the Seventh Amy marched tremendous 
distances over the roughest terrain I have ever seen. 
. . .Incredible marches, have been made, and these have 
allowed attacks to be launched from directions that 
would give the maximum of success with the mirdmum 
loss of life. . ." 


. Enemy offensive action was confined to sharp local counter- 

attacks which were part of his- general, scheme of defensive and delaying 

action. Although these attacks were local, they were often' determined 

and vigorous. American experience in this aspect of the campaign has 

thus been summarized by the Army Commander:- 

\ ". . .The German will invariably counterattack immediately 
after dawn and is very adept at supporting this with art- 
illery and mortar fire. After he believes the position 
has been softened by supporting fire, he advances on it _ 
from the front with a small number of infantry and seeks "* 
to envelop one or both flanks with the majority of his 
infantry. Tliis infantry starts to attack between S00 and 
1000 yards and, comes forward at a continuous fast walk 
using marching fire or firing from the halt or from the 
kneel. _ 

, . .In no case where our infantry untilized the full 
power of their rifles did an attack get home. In fact 
our troops looked f orward . to the Gorman counterattack 
as the surest and most effective way of killing Germans. . 
Nevertheless,, the certainty of receiving such an attack 
makes it : very evident that the position gained at^ 
night must be ready for an attack by daylight. . f " 


Snipers were freely used by both Allied and Axis forces. 
The terrain and the nature of the campaign made effective sniping a 
valuable asset to all infantry units. Commanders recommended a higher 
degree of sniper training for units not yet in action, and pointed out 
that the capable sniper must be more than a crack marksman with a 
special rifle. The. elements of patience, study of enemy habits, and 
ability to operate and move with almost perfect concealment were all 
stressed. Frequent change of position after firing was also a point 
that was emphasized. 

Enemy snipers firing from concealed delaying positions and 
from mountains were a major nuisance. Units learned to deal with, them 
in a number of ways, the most effective of which was the use of specially 
trained squads of "sniper killers". These groups would locate the hostile 
snipers, and .part would engage the sniper's attention and fire while 
the remainder would work around to the flanks and eliminate him. German . 
snipers in civilian clothes were especially annoying in Sicily, since 
our troops had strict orders not to molest civilians. In the passage of 

- 19 - 

towns, it became difficult to distinguish local civilians from German 
snipers in disguise. - 

. Both of these weapons proved to be effective. Some units 

preferred the grenade to the bazooka, and vice-versa, but the general 
opinion was that in the hands of determined and well trained men, both 
can be capable of dealing with enemy; armored vehicles at short range. 
The Army Commander has recorded that "on* four specif ic occasions the 
bazooka has accounted for liark IV tanks," and an officer of the 179th 
infantry reported two tanks, of similar .metal that were knocked out 
and burned by rifle grenades alone. The Commander, of the 180th Infantry 
also recorded 'an armored self -propelled gun wrecked and its crew killed 
by a bazooka crew firing at 30 yards, and. further reported that his men 
had successfully driven off a Mark VI tank with grenades. 


Pillboxes were encountered all over the Island. They were 
generally sited to cover roads, approaches, valleys, and stream crossings. 
In some instances the siting. -was poor and they could be easily by-passed. 
In others, they were well placed and provided the enemy with excellent 
fields of fire. The latter were dealt with by massed fire of mortars of 
all calibers, light . antitank guns, and heavy machine guns. In some cases 
it was necessary to use bangalore torpedoes when fire could not be brought 
to bear in sufficient volume. 

Concrete was the usual medium of construction. Three general 
types were found, from a circular form with walls IS inches thick with 
a 2-foot roof, to the largest type which consisted of a circular wall 
14 feet across, 4 feet high, surmounted by a domed roof 9;| feet high 
externally. The wall was 5 feet thick, with roof tapering to 3 J feet 
thick at the peak of the dome . 

Camouflage of pillboxes was extensively employed. Many were 
covered with brush, straw, hay, and other natural media. Others had 

- 20.- 

houses built over them to represent buildings or huts. Many were covered 

over with native cane to resemble thatched -outbuildings. In open grain 

and pasture land a number were found completely camouflaged as straw and 

hayricks . ' . ' 

Pillboxes camouflaged with such inflammable materials as 

those described in the ^receding paragraph were easily disposed of by 

mortars using white ' phosphorus . As stated by the Commander of the 30th 


Infantry, the enemy in, his efforts to camouflage these pillboxes often 

"dug his" own grave ... 

When we. learned to recognize them for what they were, we 

dosed them freely with white phosphorus,' especially from - 

the attached chemical mortars, -.and this did the work to 

perfection. We set the camouflage on fire, blinded the 

gunners inside, and choked them, with the phosphorus and 

smoke from the burning straw, hay, and other material. 

The fire and heat, too, made the interiors untenable, 

and the occupants would bo come terrified and come" out in 

a bunch and surrender. 

In one place near LICATA there were several of these straw 
and hay covered pillboxes and some concealed with cane 
huts situated at key positions, in country covered with 
wheat fields and terrace grain plantings. We simply set 
a first-class prairie fire with white phosphorus and burned 
out a position 2500 yards long and every pillbox in it. 
We waited until the wind was just right," and then let 
them have it. 


Experience in the Sicilian fighting showed that' after three 
days under fire infantry front line troops pass the peak of their' effic- 
iency. Unit commanders under similar conditions should keep this fact 
in mind and hold out a. fresh reserve at all times. This reserve should 
be rotated and kept in positions as protected as. possible in keeping 
with the tactical situation. 

The excessive fatigue by rapid marching and fighting 
over successive ranges of mountains led' one division to relieve the 
troops engaged by the process of "leap-frogging" combat teams. This was 
twice successfully done during the drive to the north and in the advance 


The level of night operations in ..Sicily* 'was greatly improved 
over those in Tunisia. There was demonstrated, however, the need for 
continued* improvement. This can be- achieved only by additional emphasis 
in training. The importance and need. of such training was concurred in 
by all the unit- commanders with whom the subject has been discussed, and 
the Commander-in-Chief's representative in the field has reported that 
"we are still not as good as we should be in night operations — more train- 
ing is necessary." The Army Commander likewise stated in his report that: 

". . .Night combat has such an important place in war and is 
so disliked' by the Germans that we should specialize in it. 
Great improvement in night operations,- particularly with 
regard to eyesight, is. produced by practice. . ." 

Experience in Sicily again brought out the advantage and 

value of training in artillery fire adjustment with', forward observation 
methods for infantry officers. • The • technique is simple and easily learned, 


and on several occasions, when artillery forward observers were wounded 
or were not available at the moment, • excellent results were obtained by in- 
fantry officers calling for fire and handling the adjustment by forward 
observation methods. One battalion commander in the 100th Infantry has 
recommended that instruction in this be made part of regular infantry 
officer training. 


a. Map reading, for both officers and enlisted men, should 
be stressed in training. Individuals should be given special instruction 
in foreign maps before entering an overseas theater. 

b. Troops should be trained not to dig slit trenches under 

and at the bases of large trees. Tree bursts from hostile shell fire 

have caused a number of casualties among troops occupying such places. 

Tree bursts overhead give^the effect of time fire, and the slit trench does 

not afford protection from -splinter. In one- company this lesson cost seven 
casualties . 

• c. Greater -proficiency _in 3 the. use .of the compass should be 
attained among infantrymen, In strange,, new country, and especially at 
night, the compass, is the soldier's- only means, of location and guidance. 
Its use should, become second nature. 

d v Training is needed in locating enemy weapons from their 
fire. In some cases men under machine gun fire had difficulty in telling 
from what direction the fire was coming. Several commanders recommend 
training in "crack and thump" methods in . connection with battle innoc- 

e. Field and combat firing should be given more emphasis 
as compared with known-distance range firing, especially for automatic 
weapons « 

f . There is still a definite need for more realism and 
battle innoculation in the training of new units that have not yet 
entered combat. 

£, The importance and value of well-trained company . . 
runners was disclosed throughout the campaign. Only men of a high 
level of intelligence, with superior stamina, and capable as scouts . .. 
-withstood the strain that continuous operations in the mountains 
imposed on runners.. " > • . 

h. From the highest units down there was a .lack .of under- 
standing of the.! value of reconnaissance and how. to execute it. All 
infantry rifle soldiers must be taught: how to scrutinize country for 
concealed or camouflaged gun emplacements and pillboxes..^. . 

i. All men should have some knowledge of the' enemy order 
of battle, and some basic elementary training in his tactical doctrines ^ 
and habits. It is possible to teach men to recognize the nature of 'the - 
force opposing them. This will greatly increase their confidence. 

The infantry of the divisions learned not to be road- 
bound. Their units . fought from hill to hill, and. across country.. 

k. Infantry commanders should keep local reserves close 
enough to forward elements that they may affect the action. There 

was failure to do so on several occasions, and a tendency-' prevailed to 
send unsupported' small elements forward of the. main body to probe out 
enemy positions. Invariably, the intention of attack was given away before 
the main body could get to the objective, andthe small initial force 
would be driven of f, and the enemy would then prepare to meet a much 
larger force. 



a. The operations of the field artillery in Sicily were 
marked by a high degree of success. Experience in the Campaign clearly • 
demonstrated that well trained units can maintain effective and con- 
tinual support despite the difficulties imposed by mountainous terrain, 
scarcity of good position areas, limited and congested roads, and an 
unusually rapid rate of advance. Fitting tribute to the work of the 
artillery was paid by the infantry commanders. A battalion commander 
of the 157th Infantry warmly stated that the artillery of his combat 
team was : 

. .never out of support for more than five minutes through- 
out the whole campaign. Their support and cooperation was 
grand. - : They keep right up on our heels all the time, and 
that is just vrhat we have got to have. They leap-frogged 
their batteries continually and went into some of the worst 
positions I have ever seen and delivered the goods. They 
were always* right there 'when you needed them. . ." 

Further unsolicited comment was made by an infantry battalion executive 

who declared that 

". . .Our artillery support, was magnificent. They did the 
best job I have ever seen. Our cooperation with them and 
theirs with us was 100$. . This -was true all. over the 
Division. The. batteries went into the worst positions 
you have ever seen and gave us wonderful support.. ♦ ." 

Likewise .the Commander of the 45th Infantry Division reported at the 

close of the campaign that "at no time during the entire campaign was 

the infantry of this division- without artillery support." 

- 24 - 

b. Allied air superiority as a factor influencing the 
success' of the artillery, especially with respect to; .continual .movement 
over few and vulnerable roads, .should not be . overlooked. A division 
artillery S-3. drew attention to this fact in the. statement- that "almost 
total lack of effective 'enemy air activity materially influenced what we. 
did, or could do, with impunity. " 

c. The basic principles and doctrines of the Field Artillery • 
School wore again proven sound. Much of the success achieved was the 
result of applying them with judgment, flexibility, and with due regard 

for the existing situation. A division artillery executive reported in- 
formally that 

". .. .Our experience (ir , Sicily) has satisfied us fully that' 

American field artillery doctrine is correct. We, have had 

to make some modifications because of unusual terrain and 

the speed of the campaign, but these were only common sense. • . . 

Basically', the books ar.e right and. have been proven right. 

Judgment is necessary in the application of any fundamental 

principle, and tiiis true of our' artillery doctrine.. But 

this proves : rather than, weakens the soundness of our. - 

principles. . . " 

Statements idential, in nature were made by a number of battalion 1 command- 
ers in informal reports and discussion. 

d. The effectiveness of the. artillery fire throughout the... 
campaign was outstanding.. It was equally efficient, for inflicting large, 
numbers of casualties and for destroying, enemy morale and his will to ; 
fight. The employment of artillery in mass, the accurate delivery of 
concentrated volumes of fire, and timely, satisfactory adjustment by, 
forward observers all contributed to the results attained.; The use of 
white phosphorus and time fire with high explosive shell were also power- 
ful contributing factors. Testimony of the' effect of the artillery appears 
in statements and reports of the supported infantry, German prisoners, and 
in captured enemy documents. ■ The Commanding General, 1st Infantry Division 

. .The Germans in Sicily hcye experienced artillery con- 
centrations which tfaey had seldom seen before. The 1st Div- 
ision in the last- stages of this campaign had approximately 

twelve battalions of artillery in support, and. consequently 
it was possible to support, indi vidua! companies in an , 
attack. The' Germans, realizing our superiority, 'would engage 
only at night, but unlike the German guns, our artillery , 
was continually harassing the enemy all- through the night 
and caused much damage and heavy casualties. In the brief 
but sharp . counterattacks the Germans attempted, " they were 
actually slaughtered before physical contact was laadq with 
our troops. . . " 

Significant comment was made by an infantry battalion commander who report- 
ed an incident from combat . experience of his unit : 

. .In one place where we just couldn't get forward because 
the Heinies were on superior ground and had us pinned down 
with rifle and machine gun fire, the division artillery 
massed nine battalions on them and plastered them with 1500 
rounds in less than 30 minutes. We then walked through that 
position without a scratch, and the German dead were all over 
the place . . . «» 

Similar experience illustrating the effect of fire on armored vehicles 

was recorded by an infantry .'battalion executive officer: 

. .About six kilometers north of BISCARIA we Y/ere caught 
in a position by 13 tanks and halftracks. We were really in 
a spot and were low in heavy ammunition. We. had left only 
about seven rounds of mortar bombs, six bazboka rockets, 
and about seven or eight AT grenades. Those enemy armored 
vehicles really had us in a bad way. • Our artillery liaison 
officer. - .called for fire. . .and gave the map coordinates 
of the tanks'. He called for one air burst to get adjust- 
ment, .and the round came .down right over the tanks. Ke then . 
called for fire for effect, and the artillery really laid it 
on them. I don't know how many batteries they massed, but 
the fire was magnificent, it destroyed several tanks and the 
rest were driven cff. . . » 

Even when the massed artillery fire did. not succeed in producing casualties 

in large, numbers, it served to neutralize the enemy- infantry and drive them 

underground. In. this connect ion the Commander of the 1st Infantry Division 

has reported that .- • ■ . . 

. .The Germans were able to. avoid many casualties, from 
artillery by digging deeper than the average American 
soldier is willing to do. Captured prisoners ' stated that 
their officers forced them to dig 'another two feet' when 
they thought they, had dug .enough. In, some cases . they dug . 
down and cut under to prevent casualties from air bursts. 
With the tremendous concentrations of -'.artillery that the ,, 
1st' Division laid down on the German forces, the reports 
were that the sound of -the fire was demoralizing, but • . 

that there were not many casualties when the" men were in 
foxholes. , . . " ' ■•■->, .. 

Testimony from the receiving end of our artillery' fire.. appears in a 

letter from a German artillery soldier, to his family. The letter was captured 

in. the German positions at TROINA on August 7 J 

•J' 1 .-- . *. Right /a^er jire Wk : ;&^ 

barrage started -that : aiv- infantry sergeant while being ^'^.f 
pinned to the ground said. that he had never experienced 
anything like it in France, Poland , or. Russia. There were 
many dead, and myself and; two more comrades were right in. 
the midst of it/ Tt is -impossible to describe it ♦ One 
grasps .the earth with his hands, presses his face to the 
ground and' waits for. • "".the direct hit or fragments which 
will take one's young life. . ♦ 

. .'.Without scruple, hit after hit ^comes five metres in 
front, ten behind, sideways, all over. - . .Next day brought 
us to a new position. Here in' this miserable hell enemy 
aerial reconnaissance discovered us. This brought artillery 
barrages and abandoning . had to be made in the /evening. . . 

•• . .This Sunday brought us into a new position. Again the 
enemy artillery cover us. • You have no idea ho;v it feels 
to have the shells whizz over your head... -.all night long. 

. . .Last night w6 moved- out without having been shot at. 

Even on 'the. way. we did not encounter the so-called "magic 

fire." This was. rare..- Incidentally, -"magic fire ( Feuerzauber ) ' 

is the nickname for the mad artillery barrages which the 

enemy shoots over to . us. . At' midnight we. arrived at our new 

position.. . .So, even there the 'magic fire ' caught up 

with us. ' 

'.. . .The last two days brought always the same. Artillery 
-fire on a moving band. The artillery fires on bur road 
for retreat with the heaviest caliber guns. . :■"/** 

** Translation by G-2 Section, II Corps. 

. a. Artillery operations in mountainous terrain isuch^as 
was encountered throughout Sicily, produced several general.lesson-experi-- 
ences common to all units. These lessons are summarized here, in addition 
to specific subject's which are treated in more detail below. 

. b. - Outstanding, v;as the : necessity for the' greatest degree 
of resourcefulness, determination, teamjvork, and perseverence in the 
occupation of. positions In terrain presenting extreme- difficulty. The 
speed of- the advance through the rugged country necessitated continual 
displacement, and the problems of locating, and occupying positions were 
especially great. Continual,. 24-hour reconnaissance for routes^ and areas, 
determination to continue effective support and refusal to admit that _ 
positions were "impos sible " , even to the; point of winching in ^ the guns ; 
and blasting out positions with demolition charges— these were among the 
major lessons ; of the artillery with x respect to mountain operations over 
poor and limited roads . 

- 27 - 

. c. The- "effect of:, mountain.* terrain on a rapidly 'advancing x 
campaign . brought, out the necessity for firing at extreme ranges, as well 
as the need for a longer-burning time fuze for shell to permit effective 
time fire at such ranges, especially for counterbattery fire. 

., ' d, The terrain also, presented major difficulties with respect 
to communications. These. were, effectively overcome by the use. of radio 
relay, which required planning, resourcefulness, and a high level of 
coordination' on the part: of communications, personnel, . The results of 
radio relay were highly satisfactory.; -> ' - v . . . 

'• ; ' : Artillery, experience ... in-, Sicily re-emphasized that in 
mountain combat, - forward observation is -the. primary ..means., of directing 
f ire , ;. Over 90$ of all observed fires delivered by .the, units engage d; were . 
conducted by this method.' • • . - • , ' ; -:■ 

• . , . f Outstanding Was the. successful: operation of the air OP . 

• aircraft, ; despite difficult terrain and the scarcity and poor condition 
of available landing fields , .: Pooling of aircraft and observers under . 

, division control was found, to be a satisfactory solution to. the lack of 
airfields. . . - 

Artillery in pursuit action such as was conducted in 
Sicily brought out. the fact , that support missions of the batteries must 
be accomplished regardless of how seemingly "impossible" some of the local 
situations were, or how difficult were the obstacles in the way of occu- 
pation of position 'and delivery.of fire. The old lesson of pressing the 
batteries forward was again re-emphasized to almost an exaggerated degree 
because of the constantly moving situation. In pursuit of a steadily with- 
drawing enemy, batteries at times occupied positions within the infantry 
area', and in some special situations it was necessary to place all the 
artillery of a division in position ahead of the infantry in order to 
reach enemy forces which were trying to withdraw .out of range , 

h. The importance of continual harassing fire all day and 
all night-'-a persistent 'round the clock f shelling—was clearly demonstrated. 
The use of roving guns proved to be especially effective, for this purpose^ 

- 28 - 

particularly' those of the>reinforcing ; self propelled batteries. 


• • a. Standard - tactical ' employment was f ollowed' throughout . 
The experience of the -Tunisian Campaign with regard to close cooperation 
between the organic divisional units and the attached reinforcing artillery- 
was again repeated in Sicily, 

. b Because -of -the ^peculiarities of : the campaign resulting ; 
from terrain conditions, restricted road- nets, and rapid pursuit action, 
there were a number-of instances when- it became necessary to intermix corps 
and attached battalions with units of the organic division artillery* 
Also because of terrain and movement,, reinforcing units at times we re. 
employed in advance of organic direct support battalions in* order to 
reach with their fire special^ targets or.- enemy forces withdrawing beyond 
the reach of the organic: units at hand.- In these. instant 
practice of displacing the' organic units with the . general .advance . with the 
general support battalions following r ln order was reversed because of • the. 
special requirements ,of the moment, 

c. The lesson of employing artillery, in mass involving a 
large quantity of general support and reinforcing units was again 
repeated in Sicily. In addition to the organic division artillery, the 
American forces employed a total of 12 general support and reinforcing 
battalions, which included 6 battalions of 155mm howitzers, 2 battalions 
of 155mm guns, 3 battalions of 105mm self-propelled howitzers M-7, and 
1 observation battalion (flash and sound ranging). The fire power of this 
reinforcing artillery was further strengthened by the six-gun organization 
of the 105mm self-propelled batteries. After the Provisional Corps of 
Seventh Army had overrun the western end of the island, all the attached 
artillery which had supported it was released and assigned to II Corps 
for the advance on the JiESSINA bridgehead. In this operation the II Corps 
employed an overwhelming mass of light and medium pieces which provided 

a -concentration reported by-, the Seventh Army \ Artilla ry Officer- as, ;"an ' 
outstanding feature in the taking of the -strong enemy position 'at TBOINA . " 

.."■V- ■•.<- -.Although- rendered necessary;by the -existing situations 

encountered, . the .employment ;of~units of the Corps artillery brigade as 
attached battalions should: be avoided.-, whenever possible. The . Corps artillery 
brigade has the responsibility for general support, within the corps sector, - 
and this responsibility cannot be best fulfilled if its units are attached 
to divisions and are 'lost t.9 the control of the Corps Brigade Commander, 
This principle was specially mentioned in the report of the Commanding 
General, 13th Field Artillery Brigade in his report on the campaign: 

*". . .The need of attached artillery to supplement. organic 
divisional artillery- has been demonstrated in this "and in 
past campaigns." Armored artillery battalions were attached 
to divisions and proved invaluable in '. the ,'moving. ^battles 

•along rough Sicilian roads. However, it is believed that 
such artillery should be taken from a pool of separate 
artillery units established for. the purpose. . .They 

..(Corps Artillery), should -not be expected to perform the 
dual role of direct and general support. . ." 

The Sqyenth Army Artillery officer concurred this general principle as a 

result. of campaign experience and concluded in his report: 

. .It is again emphasized that integrity of Field Artillery 
v units must be maintained in order to secure the "most effect- 

ive support. Y/hen decentralization is necessary, units should 
. ,: revert -to centralized control at the earliest possible time. . 

■ £• ---A. major -portion of the Corps Observation Battalion was 
employed in decentraiized-flash and sound ranging detachments 'which were 
attached to divisions . .• iilthough satisfactory results were generally obtained, 
both the Brigade and battalion commanders have recommended against. decentral- 
izing the .battalion into divisionc.l detachments.: .Their concurring re commend-' 
ations>call for vesting tlia . responsibility for flaqh and. sound ranging opera- 
tions within the corps sector in the Brigade comaander who in" turn delegates 
it to the commander of the Observation* Battalion. - One primary reason for 
this recommendation was that the entire personnel of the battalion is composed 
;of technical specialists with : specific technical jobs to perform, and when 
the battalion is .broken down into divisional detachments, there are -not 
.sufficient men to complete^ the technical, organization and operations in the 

several separate detaQl^ents.7 ; ;/Ilie--X3 : th field Artillery Brigade . .. ,. • 

■ i'. . ' , '■' ' 
Commander- also, reported that 

11 . ». .The general unfamiliarity with the technical . employ- 
ment of flash, and.: sound ranging units, led to the misuse 
of the divisional detachments of the Observation Battalion, 
It was found more satisfactory to. .assign the Observation 
Battalion commander the mission of supporting the Division, 
thereby, taking advantage' of his. .knowledge . and .experience 
in the formation and employment of a suitable detachment. . . " 

Detachments .of the • Observation Battalion were also used 

to advantage for supplying, division artillery survey sections with 

data for survey by the . "sun. shot" method, - This work was done in 

addition to their' primary mission of locating hostile batteries. 


• Occupation of Position v 
The rugged mountainous, terrain afforded few position, 
areas that did not involve difficulty, severe manhandling of pieces,, 
and even winching pieces into position. Some units learned to support 
their infantry from positions that- their commanders described as "un- 
head of" or would have considered impossible in normal maneuvers and 
training exercises. In one unit it was necessary to use demolition 
charges. to blast out positions for. individual pieces when .an area from 
which support had to be given could not be. occupied in any other way. 
As a result of experience in Sicily, many battalion. commanders strongly 
recommend the training of "units in the occupation of the worst possible 
ground in their exercises and maneuvers, in order- to prepare them for -the 
problems that will arise in combat, particularly in mountainous '^country. 
A summary of this experience was given by the S-3 of the 45th Division 

". . .Despite the terrain and road conditions, the artillery 
of this Division has always been- able to keep right up with 
the infantry, even when the pursuit- was going at top speed. 
Some of the positions we used, however, really, tried the 
ingenuity of the batteries . and shov/ed what resourcefulness , 
and determination could do. V/e have, had to put guns in . 
places where only a. billy-goat could have gotten his- hoofs. 
Often the, batteries had to .winch, .their guns in with the 
truck winches, and more than half of the positions we had" 

would have . been considered impossible in the U.S. training 
period of the Division. . .Yet our men got their guns in and 
delivered the fire where it was needed. . - 

Similarly the lesson of providing the necessary support despite existing 

difficulties however "formidible was emphasized by a light battalion executive 

. . The necessity of . being able to get into the most seem- 
ingly impossible positions was clearly demonstrated. Often 
• enough it appeared that positions could not be found in an 
area, but when it was a case of no supporting fire because 
of the terrain, we always found the positions and got the 
guns in somehow. Manhandled them, winched them in, any way 
at all, so we could get the. fire out where it was needed. 
The more training a battalion can get in occupying positions 
in difficult terrain -the better it :Such training 
will not only get the batteries used to bad situations, but 
it will also develop the much needed cooperation- and team- 
work of everybody — drivers, cannoneers, .all the men — 
in getting the . job done. • ." 

b. Organization of Position 

The terrain generally precluded any real choice in the 
organization of battery positions,^ and. .on the whole units employed no 
set standard shape or formation with respect to the location of pieces. 
The main considerations were locating pieces where they could deliver 
maximum support, maintain proper dispersion, and have provision for 
rapid displacement. Most battalion commanders stated that their chief 
concern was getting their batteries into position, and there was little 
.opportunity for choice in organization. However, where the ground made 
such choice possible, there was wide variation in the preferences of 
individual unit commanders. Staggered line or "Vf" position, flat diamond, 
"rough box", oval, horseshoe, and in fact almost every possible shape 
was used in position organization, Dispersion was emphasized.- The 155nim 
batteries sought from 75 to 100 yards between pieces in ail directions. 
The 105' s tried for a 200 -yard front when the ground permitted. One 
self-propelled M-7 battalion .located its pieces in a modified, circle 
whenever possible, with 100 -yards between each piece. 

- The' necessity for dispersion, as previously experienced in 
Tunisia, has rendered voice, control .by the executive impossible. Tele- 
phone communication ;from,. the. executive to each section was universally 

employed. Some . units improvised small switchboards from: captured enemy 

equipment, and others used a party line system. In most of the : battalions, 

small wire reels/ generally salvaged or captured, were carried on the 

pieces. Light W-130 wire was found' to be excellent for this purpose. 

Executives and chiefs of section were equipped with head-chest sets. 

c. Night Operations , • '•■ - 

: Although- effective enemy air activity. was- - negligible,. 

a large proportion of artillery ~ movements in the Campaign was conducted 

at night. The necessity, for proficiency in 'night reconnaissance, and 

survey, night displacement, and night occupation of position was clearly 

disclosed throughout. The commander of the 10th F.A. Battalion stated 

that "at least 75$ Qf our reconnaissance .for new positions was at night," 

and about the same figures were given by the 41st F.A. Battalion, whose 

commander added that "almost every occupation of position was made at 

night." Similar experience was- reported by the S-3 of the 158th. who 

stated that "nearly all our movements, reconnaissance, and also 

occupations were made under darkness, "and in the 171st the S-3 also 

reported that "it was almost SOP for our battalion to begin reconnaissance 

for new positions about 3 a.m., after which we moved into new positions 

just before daybreak. ". The importance of night- operations for artillery 

was given special emphasis in the report of the Commander of the 9th 

Infantry Division: . ,J 

". . .Night movement by the front line infantry as was practiced 
in this campaign entails a closer liaison between artillery 
and infantry and may, often require reconnaissance for position 
as well, as occupation of position .during the dark. With no 
road obstruction „this of course is. feasible, and with accurate 
map study on good maps, can be accomplished. .When opposition 
becomes more determined, daylight movements will be costly. . . " . 

d; Fragmentary Orders "and Modified RSOP • ' 

The use of fragmentary and oral orders, simple and 
practical SOP for displacement,; :and avoidance, of detailed, time-consuming 
formal procedure in RSOP. were the rule' throughout the campaign. Many 
commanders concurred that* /the- formal . procedure as 'outlined' in the training 
literature on RSOP is effective for basic unit training, but is neither 

practical nor real in actual combat operations. As stated, by the f S-3 of 

the 45th Division Artillery: 

. .Get away from the long, detailed RSOP as, given in the 
book. This standard procedure is excellent to teach officers 
and men what to do and how to do things in their training 
period in the beginning. But in combat there are too many 
. unusual and unexpected situations that make any rigid SOP 
impossible. Standard RSOP as it is laid down in the book is 
excellent as a guide in training. But it must be modified to 
suit the. realities and. the peculiarities of the actual sit- 
uation. • . We never use any field orders as such. Fragmentary 
orders are the rule.. Frequently the standard practice in 
Sicily was to put the batteries on the road, select a position, 
where you could, and tell them to go in and shoot. . 

The battalion commander of the 189th F.A. Battalion also commented on 

; this subject and expressed similar conclusions: 

11 . . .The. old standard RSOP with its 20-odd item verbal 
field order; the rendezvous of battery commanders' parties, 
the meeting on the hill, etc., is definitely impractical 
for combat, at. least in the sort of campaign we fought 
over here. Ify orders could not have been more brief and 
fragmentary than they were; We had a practical, flexible 1 , 
and horse-sense SOP for all situations. All I ever had 
to give my battery commanders was the general position 
area and the direction of fire. The SOP took care of 
the rest.. . . " .. - 

_e. Selection of Battalion Position Areas 

... ; . ... In pursuit action, rapid displacement forward was of 

great importance. Such displacement- was expedited by early selection 

of suitable areas into which battalions could displace without delay 

as the infantry advance progressed. -The artillery commander of the 45th 

Infantry Division adopted a general procedure that was highly efficient. 

This .procedure was reported; as follows by the Division, Artillery S-3 : 

". . ..In the Division Artillery, general.. position areas for 
the battalions were selected,. by the artillery Commander, 
the Executive, or ,the Division Artillery S^3« One of them 
was continually in. the front line infantry area. We 
generally took eight-hour shifts up- there . • The one of us • 
up forward would -select battalion position areas ahead of 
time, while the infantry was. actually occupying the ground. 

. When the infantry went forward and it was necessary, to ■ 
displace the artillery, the one of us v/ho was up forward 
would, radio in, * new position areas will be such and such, 
put the batteries on the road and meet me at new areas . ' 

. This .system gave jquick coordination and very rapid and 
successful displacement, especially in a situation where 
we had only one road to use in getting forward. It was a 
profitable lesson as' a result of the campaign. The use 
of the Artillery. Commander, his Executive, or S-3 made 

possible the presence on the ground of officers 
who* had authority to move battalions without delay. 
Subordinate officers would have had to call in, explain 
the .situation, and get authority to move the battalions. 
This would have cost us valuable time . . . " • 

f. Reconnaissance .*.'*" 

The Campaign demonstrated the necessity for continual, 
24-hour artillery reconnaissance- vigorously and thoroughly conducted. 
Route reconnaissance, especially- for displacement and for supply, was 
of the greatest importance. In this connection the Commander of the 
10th "Field Artillery Battalion stated as a result of his experience that 
"as soon as a battalion is in position, " parties snould immediately' scour 
the area for all possible routes for displacement and movement. " In 
Sicily the extensive use of mines, demolitions, and obstacles made this 
principle even more important, 

-g. Road Traffic Control 

The nature of the campaign and the very limited and res- 
tricted, road nets imposed difficulty in the -movement of artillery units. 
This was especially true in the northern coastal sector, where all 
communication and - supply were confined to a single road. Such conditions 
brought out the need for a high level of road traffic control in artillerv 
movements. On" the whole, this was not fully achieved. - Absence of effect?* 
ive enemy air activity was a factor much in our favor, but cannot" be 
expected to prevail at all times. Ifore thorough and intensive training 
of units in movements and control over limited and crowded roads is 

Role of Artillery in Pursuit Action • 

In pursuit action such ? as prevailed in Sicily, artillery 

assumed a measure of importance perhaps even greater than in other types 

of campaigns. The role of artillery was effectively described by the 

S-3 of the 45th Division Artillery: r' % 

». . .The biggest gene rallies son of the campaign was the ' 
necessity for continuous, aggressive action and employment 

-v35 - 

of artillery. In a- pursuit such as we. had throughout, 
positions must- be well forward, and I mean really well 
forward^ * On two occasions • we had all- the division artillery 
in positions actually ahead of the front line elements of 
the infantry ^ ' You must push forward constantly and push 
the fire forward all the time to keep the enemy from laying 
mines and preparing positions. It was the job of the 
artillery to keep the enemy so hard pressed that he had 
no breathing space -at alT, no freedom from continual pound- 
ing, and no time to pause and. prepare real delaying positions. 
(The artillery) must fire on him all the time — give him 
a 'round the clock' shelling with all calibers. This was 
the outstanding lesson for artillery generally. The rest 
was • the mechanical -means of -'achieving it. . . »- x 

If the letter of the German artilleryman to his family, quoted on page 27 

supra , is to be believed,- the mission as outlined above was satisfactorily 

accomplished. • 

• i' Artillery Observer s with the Division Reconnaissance Units 
In some of the divisions it was recommended that artillery 
observers should accompany the divisional reconnaissance troops in their 
operations.- Such an- observer with. radio communication can keep the Division 
Artillery Commander informed as to the location of the most forward ele- 
ments of "friendly forces, prevent friendly artillery fire from being placed 
on advanced reconnaissance elements, and locate targets for later fire 
missions. In advancing situations this observer can also reconnoiter for 
positions, routes, condition of roads and bridges, and obtain much general 
information of importance to the division artillery. ' 


; a. Principles and " Technique 
The principles and technique of gunnery as laid down in 
the Field Artillery School and in training literature were again proven 
sound. The fire direction center continues to produce excellent results in 
direction, control, and flexibility- of fire, 
b . Forward Observation 

As in the Tunisian Campaign, forward observation was the 
principai means of directing and adjusting fire. The mountainous terrain 
afforded ideal conditions for this method. Approximately 90$ of all observed 
fires were adjusted by forward observers, and the method "was also used in 
static battalion and regimental observation posts. The 189th F.A* Battalion 

reported that.. 77 .put. ,pf .80. missions fired were adjusted in this manner, 
and a number ,,pf ot^er battalions., reported the percentage in the 90 f s. 
The forward observers were .also, invaluable as a primary, means of obtain- 
ing G-2 information- of importance to . the ; irif antry as well as to their own 
units . In commenting on„" this • aspect of. the^ artillery operations , the S-3 
of the 45th. Division Artillery declared: • , - 

. V .The success' of . field artillery in combat depends on the 
energy, initiative, and capabilities of the forward observers. 
They provide, the most, effective means of locating targets and 
getting fire on them accurately in- the minimum of time , . We 
had excellent, observers, . They, got out there like bird-dogs 
and ferreted but targets . and brought down • the . fire where it 
- did the most good, .90,5%, of all fires delivered by the 
artillery of this Division was - conducted by our forward 
observe rs. ; _, , They were a most prolific source of valuable 
G-2 information also. ,. , w ~ • •. . 

The Army Commander also reported the following conclusions as a result 'of 

experience in Sicily: . 

. .Tlie liaison officer with an. infantry battalion must and 
should control the, forward; observers who accompany the assault 
companies , These observers should report to the liaison off- 
icer &nd get instructions from -him ..and be made conversant with" ■■ 
the infantry plan/" They' should then join the infantry companies 
to which assigned. Both .the liaison officers;. and forward obserr.- 
vers must remain with the infantry for the duration of the 
fighting and must hot attempt to .return .to their artillery 
organizations during the night. < 

The forward observers should remain in contact by voice 
or runner with the, nearest infantry platoon because it . is. our :" 
experience that more than half of the targets fired on by . 
our artillery were- picked. up by infantry and reported to the • \: 
forward observers. Similarly, much of the tactical information 
. received by the high command came through artillery channels. 

As soon as a position has been captured, the forward 
observer must report to the liaison officer what probable 
channels of counterattack he is in position to cover, with 
observed fire. This information is transmitted by the 
liaison officer to the infantry battalion commander. . . 

If the observers from the batteries. are in contact, 
it frequently is. possible to stop a counterattack by a, 
combination of percussion and tine bursts. I know of only 
one case where the Germans, stopped' by artillery, fire, \- 
resumed their attack. . , 

c » Counterbattery ... . ^. 

The counterbattery missions were on the whole satisfactory* < . 
Accurate lpcat ion, of . hostile ,batteries: ( proyed to .be, the most important 

element in this, phase of. .. operations ..^The Observation Battalion obtained 

good results, and the air- OP aircraft observers 'were especially useful 
for this purpose. ; Two materiel deficiencies ' detracted from 'greater effect- 
iveness of our counterbattery fire. The first was 'the. need of longer range 
weapons .for the corps and general support artillery, especially in a ~ 
campaign in -which the enemy was constantly falling back out of range. "The 
155rani guns of the 36th F.A, were entirely satisfactory, but for counter- 
battery work, the 155 howitzers M1918 lacked, sufficient range. This need 
of longer range weapons for counterbattery missions was recognized by the 
Army Commander in his report, and both the Commanding General of the 13th 
F.A. Brigade and the Commander-in-Chief's personal representative in the 
battle zone concur that the corps brigade, which should undertake a large 
percentage of these missions, should be armed with the 155mm gun, the 4.5-inch 
gun, and the 8-inch howitzer. The second deficiency was the lack of a 
sufficiently long-burning time fuze for HE shell for counterbattery fire 
with air bursts. Battalion commanders reported that enemy. batteries within 

fuze-range 'which were 
silenced i' The effect 

taken under fire with time shell were effectively 
of air burst HE was annihilating, but batteries at 
long range could not be reached with the short-burning fuze available. 
The mountainous terrain which necessitated high angle fire which increased 
the trajectories and used up burning time of the fuzes was a contributing 
factor. The Army Coiamander has stated that, "it is essential' that time shell 
furnished for the 155rom howitzer be fuzed, with the M-67 (75- f second) fuze." 
It was also found that white phosphorus mixed 'with time and percussion HE 
was highly effective for counterbattery fire. , 

"-d. Rolling Barrages 

i . ...... 

Rolling barrages were fired on a number of occasions with 
satisfactory results, ' Seven such barrages are reported fired by five battalions 
which used standard prescribed methods. These fires were delivered during 
operations at SAN AGATA, SAN FRATELLO, and in the vicinity of CAPE ORLANDO. 
Other- units reported the delivery of series of concentrations with increasing 
range which' gave the same results as rolling barrages i Experience showed 
that despite the type of terrain and speed of the campaign, the rolling 

barrage was an effective method. of fire. 

e. Unobserved Fires 

Unobserved fires were usefully employed for area targets, 
fire on airports, and for night interdiction and night harassing missions. 
In orie division a total of 47 unobserved missions were fired out of a 
total of 363 missions. The accuracy of the available maps, good position 
survey, and accurate prior registration all contributed to the effective- 
ness of. these fires. 

f , Tine Fire ' 

As in the Tuniaian Campaign, experience in Sicily again 

demonstrated the devastating effect "of time fire with HE, As a' casualty 

producing weapon and a morale destroyer, it is unequalled. The Commander 

of the 17th Field Artillery reported: 

, .Tirae fire when properly adjusted is simply annihilating. 
It was excellent against infantry and equally effective for 
counterbattery. V/hen targets were within fuze range, we used 
time fire against enemy batteries with great success. We, ad- 
just first with percussion HE and then follow with fire for 
effect with time shell.. We found the .FDC works, well in . • 

correcting height of burst. Once at GANGI we broke up a 
whole infantry attack with a few rounds of H3. The effect-, 
was devastating, and the whole attack folded up. In another 
instance a strong pocket of resistance in a valley difficult . 
to reach was thoroughly cleaned out by one battalion concen- 
tration of time shell. The Germans had artillery with them 
in the pocket, and a captured prisoner told us that the 
effect of the fire was. positively awful. Four out of five 
of his gun section were killed by one round. . . " 

The need of a longer burning time fuze, treated in detial in sub- 
paragraph c, preceding, was felt in all general time fire missions, 
fa' Flexibility and Massing of Fires 

The massing of fires by -FDC control was satisfactory and 
effective. The largest number of battalions massed through the control 
of a single FDC was seven. The massing of. from three to five was frequent 
practice. As in Tunisia, the flexibility and volume, of fire were out- 
standing factors in the success of the artillery support. The Commander 
of the 41st F.A. Battalion stated the following, in connection with the 
action at SAN FRATEILO: . . , 

. .The flexibility and speed in delivering the fire of all 
these battalions (seven through- one FDC) was amazing. It was 
possible by having observers with experience- and. guts, . excellent 
liaison officer cooperation, and good lateral communication be- 
tween -fire direction centers. . ." 

Similarly. the Commander of the 5 8th Armored F.A. Battalion reported that 

"the results from .massed fire cannot be exaggerated. . .The speed and 

accuracy of the fire are remarkable." likewise the 9tK F,A. Battalion 

commander observed that "there are no. 'bugs' in the system of FDC control. 

It is the most effective means for fast and accurate delivery of fire • 

that has eves been devised." 


a. General 

Despite severe difficulties because of terrain and the 
rapid advance, artillery communications were generally satisfactory. Radio 
was the primary initial medium, with wire secondary, in' almost all situations. 
The campaign again stressed the necessity for the highest level of sound 
planning, cooperation, perseverance, and initiative among signal personnel. 
The ability to improvise in unexpected and unusual situations also, proved 

b. Radio Relay 

The outstanding lesson in artillery communications was 
the efficiency and effectiveness of radio relay in mountainous, country. 
This system was extensively used for fire control by forward observers, 
and contributed greatly to the success of these fires. Some, units established 
wire heads as close to the observers ' positions as possible, and used 
telephone to relay messages received by radio from the observers. Others- 
used complete radio relay from observer to fire direction center, sometimes 
through as many as. four stations. Experience of the 45th Division Artillery 
was reported by the S-3 • ■ ' • - 

". ; .Radio relay stations for communication, with forward 
observers were universally used throughout the campaign. 
We strongly recommend training in their use, and in the 
relajdng of data and observers' sensings. In one case we 
fired a very rapid and^euccessful counterbattery mission 
with four radios in relay and one section of wire. The 

results were excellent. Between the observer and the 
Division Artillery CP. there -were -.four radio stations work- ' * 
ing in relay,, and, from the . CP the data were sent to the .. 
batteries by wire. . .» V.' 

c. Radio Maintenance Technicians •.-...<.. 

As in the experience of the infantry, the Campaign again 
disclosed the need of at least one highly trained, radio maintenance 
specialist for- each artillery battalion. . AH units concurred that the in- 
clusion of such a technician in the , organization .would materially improve 
and strengthen the efficiency of radio communication. 

d. Radio Discipline and Procedure 

The importance of the highest level of radio discipline was- 
stressed in all units. Also, a number of commanders recommended more in- 
tensive training of all officers in proper radio procedure, especially in 
person-to-person voice .communication. 

e « Training of Additional Radio Operators 

The extensive use of radio, relay necessitated the establish- 
ment of additional stations requiring- the. services of further additional 
operators. In many cases where additional trained operators were not avail 
able, it became impossible to relieve them properly. A number of unit 
commanders have recommended that additional men . in the battalions be 
trained in radio operation in addition to their primary duties. Drivers 
of jeeps, command and, reconnaissance cars, and radio cars were suggested 
as the source of these, additional spare operators. 

a. General 

The value and versatility of artillery- observation aircraft 
was one of the outstanding lessons of the campaign. These, aircraft were' 
fully effective in carrying out their own primary missions and in addition 
served in a number of important secondary "missions despite- the difficulty, 
of scarce and restricted. airfields. As- reported by the Commander-in-Chief' 
personal representative: in the battle zone, 

".. . .The Cub plane has proved itself of great value in the '.. 
conduct of artillery fire.- . .(It) was used. for. many purr- • . 
poses other than artillery observation. For liaison, for 
the transport of commanders and staff officers back and 
forth from the front, for reconnaissance of terrain, and 
routes of communication) ' it has . shown itself to be. in- 
valuable. . ." 

b. Tactical Employment - : >- 

(1) In the artillery battalion the principle of organic air 
observation has proven to be sound. The successful adjustment of artillery 
fire from the air is dependent upon teamwork built up' between- the pilot, 1 
observer, and the artillery battalion as a result of intensive training 
together.^ •' ' - ; 

. (2) The Division Artillery Air Sections used their two 
organic airplanes for adjusting artillery fire, but it was also found in 
combat that numerous vital reconnaissance ' and liaison missions for the 
division other than artillery observation were demanded of the planes. 
More missions of the latter nature' were required than the two division 
organic planes could -fly. The "division artillery commanders employed the 
reserve planes of the battalions in order to accomplish the additional ■ 

(3) The Group Artillery Air Sections employed their planes 

in the same manner as the division artillery commanders, using the battalion 
reserve planes under Group Headquarters control. . 

(4) Because of the scarcity and difficult nature of the 
available landing fields in Sicily, it was found more satisfactory in 
many instances for divisions to pool the observation aircraft under 
division control and dispatch them on call to battalions as missions were 
required. The efficiency of this system was demonstrated as the solution 
to the problem of suitable landing fields in mountainous and enclosed 
country. Its adaption to meet the peculiar situation in Sicily does not 
conflict with the established principle outlined in sub-paragraph 1, supra . 

(5) The OP aircraft were also useful for the conduct of naval 
gunfire in support of land ©perations. In one division 9 naval gunfire missions 
were flown by one plane, and - others were similarly employed with success. 

- 42 - . . 

c. Operational Technique 

(1) Forward observation methods of adjusting artillery fire 
from the air as now taught in the Field Artillery School have proven to be . ; 
quick 4 efficient, and sound. 

'(2) The technique of .flying while observing fire conceived 
and taught at tho Field Artillery .School is not- practical. Observation 
cannot be obtained by flying a few hundred .feet, oyer the battery positL on 
and adjusting fire of that battery on targets three or four thousand yards 
away. Targets cannot be seen from that distance, because our front lines arid 
those of the enemy are always indistinct and difficult to locate even when 
flying directly over them. It has been- necessary to fly up to and over 
the enemy front , lines at altitudes of 500 up to 3000 feet in order to ^ 
obtain observation required for various missions. Even then the. observers 
needed field glasses in ■order. to locate targets accurately, In -many cases, 
along the coast flights were made about 1000 yards off shore in order to 
adjust our artillery fire on enemy targets several miles behind the enemy 
lines, adjustment on which would have been impossible by -any other means. •■; 
because of terrain obstacles. 

d. Communications 

(1) In general the SCR 610 installed in the plane has not 
been satisfactory because of its weight and its short range. A lighter 
set with much longer range is required, especially for adjusting the fire 
of medium and heavy battalions. 

(2) In order to maintain communication between the division 
artillery command post and the artillery airfield, an SCR 193 or 610 was gener- 
ally provided at the airfield to operate on the division artillery command chan- 
nel. This radio installation was found to be absolutely necessary in Sicily, 
because of the distance between the airfield and the command post and the 

lack of adequate wire communication. 

(3) In one division a number of Air Corps "All" radio sets 
were obtained and installed in the planes. These were found to work well, 
especially with SCR 2S4's at ground stations. 

(4) A radio having' increased range is ^vitally needed 

by the Corps Artillery aircraft* No missions were flown for .either 
adjustment or surveillance of corps artillery fire because., the SCR-610 
was inadequate. 

(5) It was found that the triangular wing aerial is the 
most satisfactory. The. single line aerial is too directional.. 

e . Vulnerability to Enemy Action ' 

The artillery observation aircraft were at tacked'on nine 
different occasions by several enemy aircraft, but none were shot down. 
Standard evasive tactics of rapid descent, contour flying, and weaving 
have been successful. The observation planes were also often. subjected 
to antiaircraft and small arms fire, and though a number were reported to 
have sustained minor damage, none were shot down. 

f. Effect of Observation " Aircraft on Enemy Batteries 

It was noted throughout the campaign that the mere pres- 
ence of artillery observation aircraft served to silence enemy batteries. 
The Germans'" seemed to fear greatly the accurate fire that these planes 
invariably brought down on them when their batteries were observed. A 
good examples of this appears in the statement of the Artillery Air Officer, 
3rd Infantry Division: 

", . .We discovered one very effective use of the planes — 
just put them up in the . air and the German batteries would 
cease firing . Evidently they learned how deadly our counter- 
battery could be when adjusted with air observation. When 
our division was moving up west of CAPE ORLANDO, the Germans 
had. heavy interdiction fire on the only road over which we 
had to advance, V/e sent up a cub plane to try to locate the 
batteries. As soon as the plane was up -and was apparently 
• ' seen by the enemy. 0? } s or their batteries, the fire ceased. 
General Campbell, 'our Artillery Commander, then ordered a 
plane kept up all. the time, and so long as the plane was 
in sight, not a single round was fired on the road. . . 
This was universal experience throughout the campaign. 


a. ^ Survey operations within the battalions were largely 
confined to battery position areas. The 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 maps of the 
island were exceptionally^accurate; and- surveying of the target areas was not 
undertaken. The speed of* the advance' also influenced the artillery survey 

in. rendering any detailed- or elaborate operations impracticable except, for 
some few instances.. As a, rule separate or parallel orienting lines were 
run for individual. batteries. ^ . 

b. Standard survey methods were used throughout with few , 
exceptions. In the 45th Infantry Division, . because of metallic debris and 
possible ore deposit interference with needles, "sun shot" azimuths were 
substituted for magnetic bearing and azimuths. Detachments of the 1st 
Observation Battalio,n furnished these azimuths, obtained from sun shot 
readings, and survey control could be initiated from^these basic direct- 
ional data. It was found that .a sun; shot azimuth could be computed with- 
in 15 or 20 minutes by a well trained.. survey crow, and the Division Artill- 
ery survey officer, recomciended .. tji$t,,this . motyod be taught to all division, 
survey sections. It was. also .found - that,. Vega tables were the most satis- 
factory means of computing coordinates. ; , . 

c. Campaign experience disclosed the ..need of some form of r 
practical intra-comrnuni cation within the survey sections of battalions, 
and inter-communication between. battalion. and,. division survey parties. 
One division survey pfficer Recommended. the. assignment of two SCR 536 
sets and one SCR 610 per battalion and division section for this, purpose. 


Wide dispersion, defilade, and the use of natural and art- 
ificial media properly prepared and arranged are essential for artillery 
camouflage. The use of nets again emphasized the necessity of suitable 
garnishing to blend with existing terrain and foliage , and especially 
care in draping. . Nets if improperly draped often give away a position. 
Some of the Italian prisoners taken in the mountains overlooking position 
areas stated that the first thing they could spot was poorly arranged 
camouflage nets. !The nets were also found to' be very inflammable. Several 
units reported the loss of vehicles by fire- as a result of the nets being 
fired by HE, Camouflage discipline in the artillery units was generally 

satisfactory. ' Commanders, ' however, ; recommended' stressing it in the training 
of new* units .' " X The '. lack : of enemy air activity • produced a tendency to relax 
camouflage discipline. It was "necessary to take- measures " to counteract 
this false senseof security.- ■ '• • 


a, ^ "Dealing with ' the" Nebelwerfer and Hostile Roving Guns 

The -Germans ''employed 1 ' a-' niamber;-of 'the -large six-barrelled 
Nebelwe rf e r rocket guns, which were '.capable of being moved to new positions 
very quickly after firing. Although their location could be detected by 
the immense flash— similar to -the- discharge' of-' a battery of Livens pro- 
jectors — these 'guns often "changed position immediately, after firing. ' 
Experience in attacking these weapons was related in the report of the '. 
Commanding General", 9th Infantry Division: 

"'••'"'••' 11 . .^.Attack on 'the' ri&belwerf er because of the' fleeting nature 
of the target demands special attention. The nebelwerfer . can , 
■ limber' arid "move out of position within three minutes after 
a close round — this speed of withdrawal demands either a . 
very rapid adjustment and immediate' fire 'for effect or else 
adjustment, on a point 400 or 500 yards away and a surprise 
transfer going 'into effect immediately. Speed arid surprise 
is the only way to' catch them in position where you can hit 
. them. ' One observer reported that while he was adjusting on 
a rocket gun, and before he could go into effect, the gun 
was limbered up and got away. Fortunately, however, the rocket 
gun opened up immediately after from. a position only 500; yards 
away. The observer shifted over going into effect at 
once and destroyed the gun. . . " . 

... Similar tactics were necessary in dealing with self- 
propelled roving guns. .These weapons would fire for a short while and then 
change position. They were also difficult to locate. Alert, energetic . 
. observers, and quick transfers from check points within limits to insure 
surprise and sudden fire, for effect were the best means of dealing with them. 

b. Use - of White Phosphorus 

. White phosphorus shell proved to be highly effective. as a 
. casualty agent as well as for. screening. It produced a demoralizing and 
confusing effect. on personnel, -and was especially useful for burning 
vehicles and fixed installations.. It was employed against a wide variety 

- 46 - . 

of targets with .excellent results..^ . A majority of ,t,he. :..lQ5mra. battalions . 
used on an average of 25$ to 50°j(> of VHP, depending; on the nature of the ,', . 
missions^ and -targets* ■■'The... prolonged, dry . season which rendered, vegetation 
and terrain highly inflammable was a contributing factor in the usefulness 
of phosphorus. , . - / 

A number of battalion commanders recommended some form of - ' 
division control oyer the use of WP, It 4 was. found, .that where several 
batteries or. battalions were firing into •t^e7same v ;. l are.a,;. uncontrolled use 
of phosphorus often interfered with adjustment because the smoke obscured 
targets, . . - 

£• Training in t he Use of Foreign Ifeps 
..■All maps ; for.. 'a^ti^e^,use^er^,i]^rppean, wftich. necessitated ; 
familiarization with scales, pontpptr/^ that ,• 

differ from the maps commonly used ^n ; the .United ^States. Many unit comm^- 
anders strongly Tocommended more thorough and intensive: officers' 
and men in the use -of jthese ^forei^viMips^-bejfo^^goijjg' into^pvers^as theaters. 

d. Essential Records . and Reports 

. It is essential that: staff., officers responsible for. the,' . 
keeping of essential records be trained to do so under combat conditions . 
This is especially important with regard to artillery ammunition expend- 
iture reports, and the routine S-reports. - 

e . Declination of Instruments 

£he". presence-- of -large .quantities' 'of '"metallic debris in 
the zone of operations and ; in Sicily the numerous -outcroppings of ore 
deposits made accurate- : -dec'^na^on;pf;^str^ments' difficult. Officers 
responsible^ for this, function ..jS^puld keep these factors in mind when 4 '" 
similar conditions are presen£/;and take proper , precautions to obtain 
. accurate results , 

- 47 - 



a. The experience^of the one armored division which operated 

" in Sicily was largely influenced by the, terrain and the unusual speed at 
which the campaign moved. . The .nigged mountainous terrain and the restricted 
road net through enclosed country, narrow valleys, and wall-enclosed fields 

^prevented concentrated action of the, division as a whole, or any major employ- 
ment' of armor in mass ? -' 

b. The major role of - the tanks took' the form of pursuit 
action in overrunning and securing the', we stern end of the island,, and in 
assistance to the infantry in relatively small'units where necessary. 

The main^ operation of .the -armored division as a whole was the : rapid and 
successful -"wide 'end run'-' for. PAIBRMO,: which involved pursuit action '• 
•from' GELA-to^the latter city in only three days— a. distance of over 150 
; miles ' over- difficult - terrain, and in: jnanyi. cases. . poor roads . which were . _ 
extensively mined and blocked by demolitions and obstacles, ■•. '. 

c . The " light tanks were, especially, valuable for reconnaissance 
and were weH ; adapted- to the 1 terrain and -the fast, moving situation that 
developed. - 

d. Unit training in relatively, restricted areas prior to the 
campaign proved of advantage in Sicily; One battalion commander pointed out 
that the .terrain- factor on the island: actually :worked to the advantage of 
his unit, since previously it had not operated over the wide expanses of 
ground in 1 southern Tunisia; and the combat training in Africa had been 
carried.'bh in- more or "less limited areas » . 

"e.' 1 . Because of the nature of the campaign and further because 
the country in the eastern and north coastal (U.S. )* sectors was unsuited 
to armored operations, the^ combat experience of the armored division, emp- 
loyed was limited in scope' and was; concluded after the capture of PALERMO^ 

Nevertheless, lessons- of value were derived from the operations conducted. 
These lessons and experiencieis are of particular interest and value since 
they reflect the reaction of armored units which engaged in their first . 
major campaign. 


The importance: of ^small unit.- operations and: special missions 

of companies - r and platoons^-was -disclosed as.:^- result of the -terrain and 

nature' of the .campaign.' ' - Prior, training; .in. 'this phase :of tank 'action was 

proved to "be valuable, and was so reported by the /Commanding. General of 

the 2nd Armored Division: 

". ♦ , Small unit problems involving the use of a base of fire 
by supporting weapons and' dismounted: or tank- enveloping 
force have been emphasized by this Division in all training 
• -preparatory to; the Sicilian Campaign,, to , ; such art extent that;. -, 
. personnel was most efficient in the technique of this man- 
' euver. The soundness of 'this, training was repeatedly demon- . 
strated by the rapid" reduction of pillboxes, defended road 
blocks, and AT defenses in the - advance -rrornvGELA, to PALEEMp -V 

In this .connection- the- importance of the platoon in ,.combat..:and;its proper 

training vas " a ' unit was .emphasized, in -:the . comment .'of • the; commander of the 

66th Armored Regiment : • • 

. .The. brunt of tank action in the final analysis, is 
' :■■ carried by' the • platoon. - It -is highly important to. 'control 

the -platoon properly in combat and fight it as ; a platoon 
- and not as- individual tanks. There is always, a .tendency . 
for individual tanks to stray in battle-.. The most impor- 
tant duty of the platoon leader in battle is to keep his , 
.. tanks controlled, and together. Y&thout this control, the 
companies cannot effectively operate and maneuver.* , ." 

The need for special training in the special operations of light tanks. 

when, attached in small units to assist infantry was also pointed out by 

a company commander of the same regiment: 

. .In Sicily the light tanks were often detached and attached 
to inf antry units for special operations . -.These attached 'units 
were generally platoons. ~ . .In a: country like Sicily, and in 
such a fast moving campaign," it was : necessary, and. it. may be . 
necessary again. . .(We) were often attached to reconnaissance 
units and to infantry for special reconnaissance missions. Our 
platoons ' were more or less". unprepared for' this type of. work 
because we generally work as a' company. Vfe . did the job all 
"right,; but I- think it' will -:be~ better for. future, operations . 
if special platoon' training were given in such operations* . 

- 49 - 

43« / INDIRBCT -.. FIRS . FOR- TANKS "' \ 

■ Th* value .of - in^^ 
again demonstrated. It was found useful' in the. hilly terrain . encountered 
and for special missions that -.often became necessary* .; A regimental command- 
er reported! v 

••••«; V ;'A11 officers and: men. :Should be .trained to fire -with in- 
direct methods. - Vfe have foundTit invaluable in a number of . 
instances There .-are r time s^hen , normal jtanK' action is not 
feasible, and yet the fire [power ^^o'f the tanks can be used . • 
to great advantage.; 


• -..*The need for intensive training in gunnery and combat firing 

was < .stressed by .all -.commanders .;. . Speed and accuracy combined with effective 

control .-by the tank commander were shown to be vital to tank gunnery. A 

battalion -cojiBaandQr-.of-.the^67th -Armored; Regiment- -.stated,: 

, Vfe found in actual tanlc vs. ^ tank fighting, and . we ran . 
into some Mark VI * s at GELA, that the- tank unit that will 
win is -the one .that, is . ^quickest on the draw' and can. shoot - 
first 2nd straightestv At. GELA we ran unexpectedly into a 
flock of German tanks, and in the ensuing fight, we were 
_ able to knock out six Mark VI «s, seven liark IV 's and Ill's. _ 
We attribute our success in this to our better maneuverability, 
and quicker deployment, and to our superior gunnery. . .'» 

^..ewise the commander of a battalion in the 66th Armored Regiment gave 

another example from combat experience: - 

% . .At CANICATTI we were fired on by a number of German 90mm 
. self-propelled guns., perhaps ten or fifteen of them, and they 
were in position and got their rounds off first. But their 
marksmanship was, pqor, and they got little effect on us. VJhen 
we got our tanks into position and opened up on themwe were 
able -to outshoot them and knocked out several with, direct 
hits. ♦ ,We attribute this successful action to well trained 
gun crews who fired accurately and rapidly, and to the 
proper maneuver on the part of the platoon leaders. . 


Several units reported excellent results with the" assault gun 
platoons and mortar, platoons!. ; used as batteries, with fire conducted by 
forward observation methods. One bat talion commander described the following 
incident in this connection: : 

. . Just ; south of CANICATTI we liad-l^ipartlcularly/.' . . f 
successful experience with our. platoons /in this method of 
employment. Our. advance hacl ^stopped at darkness, and at 
daylight we discovered a number- of . 90mm self-propelled ■ , '" 
AT guns in position ahead of us. Y/e were waiting orders 
to resume the advance, ; and in .the .interval we put our . ' • ■ 
assault gun platoon in defilade. position along with our 
platoon of mortars. The 'platoon -loader - went forward with 
a radio and adjusted fire pn these guns with forward ob- 
servation methods. We knocked out two of them, destroyed 
a large .amount of motor transport in . their : vicinity, 
and forced the rest, of the guns; to evacuate their pos-;. - • 
itions.. Some of these guns .could not have been reached " 
in any other way.* : :>t j;We are sold on -this' method of 
using our. assault gun platoon whenever- the situation 
permits. It has worked out very, successfully,-, .■ ; »!' ; 


As in the. experience of the other arms, white phosphorus 
shell proved to be a most valuable 'and' effective weapon- in' tank action. - 
A battalion executive. of the- 66th Armored Kegiment stated that ' "its ' - 
effect in some cases was deadly— we* came across gun crews that had been 
literally burned to a crisp," and the commander - of- the .same regiment 
declared phosphorus to be "one of 'the ' best weapons we have -against -all 
kinds of targets. " _ ' : ;' 

47. MiAlITONANCE ' * 

The vital importance of vehicle and weapon maintenance was 

again disclosed. The. terrain in Sicily and the. speed of the movement from 

GELA to PAIERMQ imposed an excessive' strain on the vehicles..- The rocky, 

mountainous country ' combined with long marches over rough badly -surfaced 

roads proved to ; be severly deteriorating to rubber tank' tracks, so much 

so that the Division Commander reported that '•■»■ • 

". . .Approximately 7 '5% of the tracks were completely ruined • 
on arrival at PAD5IM), This rubber track block was of a new 
synthetic type material and ^although, it - had„travelied less , " .... 
than 300 miles it was completely worn out, Steel tracks were, 
generally speaking, in good condition. . ." 


The supply of large armored units in an action such as was 
experienced in Sicily -proved to be a factor of first importance in the 

success of the operations. . This question' was' summed up. in the. r.epprt of 
the Commanding General;;. 2nd Armored 'Division r .•■:•>; . 

',. .The. ope ration against PALERMO served to emphasize the 

tremendous. supply problem involved. in sustaining an armored 
division on, the move and in action.- 

s It is estimated, that the organic vehicles within an 
armored division can keep the division supplied as long,.- 
as the Army rail or truck head is : within thirty miles of 
the combat elements t and a' reasonable road' net exists. 

As this Division landed with a. very limited number of ; 
trucks due to the shortage of shipping, it was able to 
maintain itself only by a close margin. : All trucks hauled 
twenty-four hours a day, being forced to draw from beach 
dumps. Due to the rapid movement of the Division, the 
distance from these dumps increased until it reached 140. 

Fortunately ammunition- requirements for the operation 
were not heavy. Had the action been sustained and the 
demand : for ammunition tonnage been heavy, it would have . 
been impossible to have supplied the division with both 
gasoline and ammunition with 1 the trucks available ♦ • 

For any operation of an armored division. all- classes 
of . supplies must be pushed up within 30 miles of the 
combat elements, or if this is impossible, at least three 
additional supporting truck companies must be made avail- 
able to augment the organic transportation. . 

The proper balance of road priorities between combat troops and supply 

elements should be maintained. The division commander further reported 

in this connection: 

,f . . .Road priority in some instances was given to Gombat 
troops to the exclusion of all administrative vehicles. 
This delayed trucks carrying gasoline and oil for advanced . 
elements and seriously reduced their combat efficiency. . . " 


a. No provision is at present made in the armored division 
for handling of prisoners of war. Long sustained advances must be closely 
followed by line of communication' troops to take over the guarding and 
processing of prisoners and captured materiel. ' , . 

b. Infantry following rapid tank advances must be continually 
alert for centers of resistance that have been by-passed or overlooked by 
leading tank elements. Instances occurred where machine guns held their 
fire during the advance of armor and opened up on 'thinr-skinned vehicles 

following, v. . . • . 

c. -.In many instances .antitank guns can be located only by 
their muzzle flash. Tank ..crews should be trained to look for and re cog- 
nize these flashes*, and T not confuse .them with friendly - artillery fire 
falling in the same area. . 

• d. • Tanks "should avoid or by-pass small towns during rapid 
advances . Small towns of the type frequently encountered in Sicily 
could be dangerous tank traps, ■ especially in the narrow 'streets which 
afforded little or no observation for the tanks and excellent locations 
for antitank guns. 


50. OTERAL' ' : V- " : 

a. In the continual withdrawal and delaying action" of the' 
enemy, mines and booby traps were extensively used, and .constituted a 
powerful obstacle in the way of the advance. The Germans employed them 

even more freely than they had in Tunisia except in placed whep? '-Irf :A. 
were so hard pressed that there was ±nsrx£f±o±^J^^^ m tn C Pmyo 
mined areas. .,.-^- r " 

^J^i'ne' general pattern of German and Italian mines in Sicily 
was fa^^y. sijniiap ^ .that employed in Tunisia, though mines were laid in 
Jl^reater numbers and with somewhat greater irregularity. There was a 
general absence of extensive antitank, minefields such as were laid in the 
open stretches of. Southern Tunisia. The most heavily mined areas were 
generally in and about. the approaches to demolitions and blown bridges. 
Roads and all available avenues of pursuit were thickly strewn with mines 
of all types.' Constant withdrawal gave, the enemy the advantage of complete 
knowledge of the terrain into which, our troops had to move and occupy 
positions. As a fa suit, nearly all likely position areas for artillery 

and infantry were thickly- sown with mines and booby traps whenever there was 
time to lay them, 


' £• ■ Antipersonnel S-mines were, especially troublesome and. were. ; 
used in huge quantities, -'-Whenever there -was time, . booby traps of every. form, 
from ammunition dumps to attractive souvenirs, were ^prepared. ..It is reported 
in the British sector that an inviting cellar filled with whiskey and gin 
was so. effectively, booby-trapped: that the. entire: building housing it had to 
be destroyed by engineers' and bomb^ disposal personnel. It is also recorded 
that the . Germans booby-trapped the .dead, some of which were partially 
buried, in order to produce, casualties among troops conducting burials. 

d. The one major lesson of the campaign was an emphatic 
repetition of the lesson in Tunisia, the- fact that mines are a menace 
to troops of all arms and services in the combat zone, and their detection, 
disarming, and removal are no longer' special functions of the Engineers. 
The~lnftotry, artillery-, armored forces, reconnaissance units, and in fact 
all troops who passed through or occupied areas evacuated by the enemy were 
exposed tonnes and booby traps. All -units were unanimous "in their praise 
q.J^the^^ of \the engineer troops for having done an efficient arid highly 
satisfactory ~"i9fe/Sf clearing the main avenues of advance. But it was con- 

ceded ttetN^W to clear ^ the areas con ~ 

taining nines and booby traps that had to be occup!K d <iurins the advance. 
The obvious solution of this problem is sound training in^mll^ detect:Lon 8X1(1 
'removal for troops of all combat' arms 'and services. .A penetrating stlmate 

of the training needs with respect" to' mine" warfare was given by artili ery 

• ' /• . •• ... . 

battalion commander who declared at the^close of the campaign;. 

". . i'All' soldiers, -regardless' of -arm i or service, should' be 
trained in' defense against 'mine. warfare. ' - It should be just 
as much a part"' of the soldier's -basic .'training'- as - gas mask ...' 
drill and defense against chemicals . Both mines and gas are ' 
similar in that they are common -menaces- to* all troops in the. 
combat- zone, regardless ofvarm'o'r ''branch.- .Y. Men are given 
basic* -t-r'aining in defense ^against 'chemicals, are v *taught 
how to identify the various gasses',- -how* they work, -and meas- 
ures of protection against them. It; is "equally important 
that all combat troops in their basic -instruction be given 
similar instruction in def ense^against^^wa 

be. ; .taught to identify, mines,, how they work, and . the proper 
measures of protection against them. While the main burden 
falls on the engineers, the other arms are often exposed to 
the mine menace in many areas that the enginners cannot 
reach. You cannot expect the engineers to be everywhere at 
once and clear every area and position you will have to go 
into. The answer, is, .train all troops to take care of 
themselves. . . " 


a. Foot elements must be capable of continued advance 
through mined areas, and not wait for engineer assistance in. clearing 
areas. As stated by the Commanding General of the 9th Infantry Division 
in his report: 

■ 11 , . .Infantry must move forward cross-country removing mines 
themselves, .. .Each rifle company must have organically at 
least three mine detectors- which are kept forward with the 
company, and all personnel should be tr.ained in removing 
mines and booby, traps. Care must be, taken in by-passing road . . 
blocks and blown bridges. They are* always mined. . . " 

b. In both training and operations there must be a cooperat 
ive effort between both infantry and engineers in .clearing main routes of 
advance. The infantry must protect the engineers in their mine clearing 
operations, and there must be a complement of engineers with the forward 
elements of the advance guard. . ... - 

c. Several methods of dealing. with the mine menace by in- 
fantry were carried out. A number of units had sent officer and NCO 
cadres to the Fifth Army Engineer Training Center prior to the invasion' 
of Sicily. These graduate, cadres in turn held unit schools ^of instruct- 
ion which were effective in training all ranks.. Other units organized 
special mine clearing detachments which were trained by their own organic 
engineers. In some, regiments special. detachments of 50 men were trained 
in this way and kept in reserve to be used whenever needed.. In all or- 
ganizations regardless of how the problem was . met, officers testified 

to the vital importance; of thorough mine training for infantry, and the 
Army Commander declared':-" 


. * In training, the detection of mines by all types of troops 
must be stressed, and each infantry company should be provided 
with ten mine detectors. . .« •:. 

d. The worst menace to the infantry was the antipersonnel 
S-mine. The larger tellermines were not so dangerous to the foot troops 
unless booby-trapped with trip wires, but the S-mines because of the 
profusion in which they were sown and the difficulty of detecting them, 
constituted a constant menace and a source of many casualties. 

52. lessons 'and experience from field artillery units 

a, . Limited battery position areas and restricted routes of 
movement in country evacuated by an enemy fighting a delaying action made 
extensive mining of nearly all . potential battery positions a common 
occurrence, The withdrawing enemy habitually mined all likely battery 
positions whenever possible, which* resulted in continual exposure of artillery 
units to mines. The necessity for sound training in clearing under these con- 
ditions was of great importance." In this connection the Seventh Army Artillery 
officer reported: ; • _ 

". . .Extensive enemy use of land mines in defensive and 
delaying operations has made it essential that Field Ar- 

. tillery units be equipped with mine detectors to avoid 
heavy personnel and materiel losses when occupying positions. 
Engineer personnel is normally not ' available for this pur- 
pose, since road clearance and other missions have a higher 
priority than clearing artillery position areas. Authority 
has been secured for the issue of mine detectors to field 
artillery units in this Theater on the basis of one per 
headquarters battery and three per firing battery. It is 
recommended that tables of equipment be" modified to 
allow these mine detectors for all field artillery 

■ units, including especially those in the U.S., to 
permit necessary training of artillery personnel in 
their use. . . » 

b. Sweeping of battery positions should be a continual, 
progressive process, until all places -of necessary troop activity have 
been effectively cleared.. An armored battalion commander stated that 
"when we first go in, we .sweep the route for the gun and its immediate 
position;-.- After the guns are in, we then continue sweeping, extending out 
to cover the whole area." 

- 56 - 

c. As in the infantry, various methods of organization were 

employed. In some battalions,, special mine clearing detachments were 

organized within each battery. In others, special battalion sections 

were trained. and used as required among the batteries. One armored 

battalion reported that "we are training the AT sections, the reconnaissance 

section, and all NCO's of staff sergeant grade and above." Another 

battalion commander stated: . 

. • In Sicily we. found that ...there . was. very little use for 

the battalion antitank platoon. • We* took "20 men from this • 
platoon and organized them into a mine, clearing section. 
Wo borrowed instructors from the engineers and trained 
them in the use of detectors and in disarming and removing 
mines. This section did good work all through the campaign. - 
It is now holding schools and is training 20 men per battery, : 
so that we will eventually have each unit well prepared to • 
take care ,of . itself. V/hen we go back into action I can take 
forward the clearing section and. hold it handy while we 
reconnoiter new positions, It. can start. clearing these 
positions while, the batteries, are coming up. . . " 


Although the armored division that participated did 
not have to fight its way through extensive minefields such as -were ex- 
perienced, in Tunisia, the heavy mining of roads, by-passes, and areas that 
had to be traversed and occupied revealed the need of ' thorough'" training 
in detection, clearing and removal. , The Commander of the 2nd Armored 
Division summed up this ' principle in one sentence: "Training in mine 
removal must be conducted for all ranks." 


• : a« Types of Mines Encountered 

The types of mines encountered in ' Sicily were ";* 
largely confined to' the familiar tellermines of several models,' Italian 
box mines, and standard German' and Italian antipersonnel mines. In the 
later stages of the campaign a considerable number of wooden mines "were - 
used by the Germans. --.This type proved to be as effective as the metal 
mine, but could not be'discovered by means of the detector. Prodding 

- 57 - 

served as the only means of detection. Only one plastic mine was reported 

throughout the campaign. It is to be. expected that this- type will become 

more prevalent in future operations. 

/' ■ 
^ b« Effectiveness of . Enemy Mine Operations 

'The campaign demonstrated that the land mine can be a 

most powerful weapon in delaying action. iVhen used extensively in terrain 

such as prevailed in Sicily, its effect in delaying the advance of forces 

must be recognized , as a problem of first importance. Plans and draining 

to meet this problem must be carefully accomplished ; in preparation for 

future operations under similar conditions. The Commander of the 1st. 

Infantry Division reported: - — 

.The Germans proved that in mountainous terrain, contact 
with an .enemy can be broken by the use of mines and demolitions 
with long range artillery fire cove ring '.the minefields and 
-demolitions. • - 

\J That the, German use of mines will be greatly expanded in the future there 

can be no doubt. As the enemy- is forced to withdraw from occupied terri- 

/ tory toward his own s.oil^ we must expect a more extensive use of land mines 

and even greater mechanical efficiency on the part of his mine weapon. The 

/enormous quantities of mines that can be produced at relatively small 
cost in comparison to other weapons, and their proven effectiveness in 
^/ defensive • warfare indicate that 'the problem of dealing with the mine 
will become more and more serious as the war progresses to its final 
stages. All personnel of jtll arms must be consci ous of the problem, and the 

best- thought__and_resourcefulness of all concerned must b o • devoted to its 


The actual casualty effect of enemy mines in the Campaign 
has been difficult to determine. Since most mine casualties are fatal, 
and the. causes of death on the battlefield are not classified, it is 
not possible to state the exact percentage of casualties from mines. 
The Army Commander has estimated that approximately 10$ of the losses 
were caused by mines. In one field artillery battalion the figure was 
given as high as 30$, though this "appears to be an unusual case. 

c. Passage of Mined Beaches 

In landing operations the rapid passage of mined. beach 

areas is. of grave importance to the- success of such operations.- In Sicily 

the landing operations revealed the need of a higher level of training, 

discipline, and technique in crossing- mined -beaches* The- Commander of 

the 1st Engineer. Special Brigade has reported on this subject: 

. .More casualties were caused by mines than were • ' 
necessary, . Men and vehicles would have been saved had 
there been more thorough instruction in mines, had there 
been better discipline,. ;and.|^d^there^een - better control 
and direction, Traffic must be confined. to cleared areas. 
Mine detectors must, be ° divided among. the craft, and not 
collected in one boat and sunk all together as happened 
in one instance. . , " ' 

d, Sandbagging of Vehicles ■- 

As in the experience in Tunisia, '"the value of sandbags 
in vehicles was again demonstrated. 'Although they do not prevent damage 
to vehicles, they frequently save lives.' One infantry officer declared 
that "the truck driver' should regard his sandbags as a rifleman does - 
his rifle. " ' " ' ' 

e. Avoidance of Souvenir Hunting 

Troops, especially those engaging in their first action, 

must be taught to avoid attractive souvenirs. Many objects which appeal 

to the soldier as desirable mementos are cleverly booby-trapped. An 

infantry battalion executive v/hose unit fought for the first time in 

Sicily reported: 

". . .You must train men to stop souvenir hunting. The 
Germans are fiendish' at setting out these' attractive 
nuisances, and untrained men often get caught. We find 
that new troops after their first fight seem to forget 
that the war is still going on, and set out to get a 
lot of souvenirs. They often 'get blown sky high in 
doing so ... " t 

f • Avoidance of Riding on Running Boards and Fenders 

There have been instances o£ # of ficers and men who were 

killed as a result of riding on the running boards. or fenders of 

vehicles when mines were, run over. Other personnel in the vehicles were 

unhurt or sustained only minor injuries. v This: practice should be strictly 
avoided. . 

£• Multiple Laying of Mines 
, Troops must be made familiar with the .German habit of 
laying several mines in the same pit. Often when a mine, "is detected and 
removed, another or several, others may be buried below the one. removed. 
In clearing', removal parties, must be alert to this possibility. Re-$heck • - 
with the detector after the; removal of the first mine is one way of ■ . « 
detecting others. . 

h. Avoidance of Uncleared Areas by Vehicles 

Drivers of vehicles should be. especially careful to 
follow only cleared lanes and roads. Instances have. been recorded 
frequently in Sicily where trucks were pulled off the, roads after 
"the engineers had cleared only the road -and. not • the shoulders and 
areas adjacent to them. Wrecked vehicles : and i casualties resulted in . 
such cases". Such, areas should be plainly marked to the effect that . 
the road only has been cleared, and drivers must be trained to obey 
the warnings to the letter. 


• " 55-. ■ GENERAL . ' ■ : •• 

a. The Sicilian Campaign demonstrated the tremendous striking 
power of air' and ground forces when the two are carefully coordinated and 
work in close cooperation. At. the same time it was clearly shown that the 
achievement of coordination necessary. for fully effective operations is 
.difficult and requires meticulous planning, proper- training. of both arms 

in cooperative action, and thorough mutual understanding of the problems 
of each arm. The results in Sicily varied with the attainment of these 
elements. In general, campaign experience showed that improvement ' is 
necessary in certain phases of air-ground support and cooperation. 

b . The first- phase of air support, the elimination of hostile 
air activity or reducing it to the control of our own air forces, was . 

effectively -carried out. ..Allied , air.; superiority .was, .complete and became 
a powerful influence. -oyer . the., success.. of ground. :forc.e . operations. - This 
phase is purely; an . air force function, and. does not" .involve the. problems of 
air-ground cooperation -and. coordination. 

\ ■■[ , .". nSV.i . .-i \ i, . ,. ....... .... .. . ... 

£. The second phase, the bombing of objectives ahead of the 
ground troops to neutralize enemy activity that, can hinder our action and 
to dislocate enemy action -becomes., a cooperative operation. The. ground 
force commanders indicate -" to the;'.air force .targets that will, be- best ' 
suited to these,;ends, and ; a bomb line is. established for- the protection 
of ground forces , .The;. boob • line.i-.should; be ; selected with an; added safety 
factor if necessary, and- should be delineated., after, consultation between 
responsible 'off ixjers^of rboth- arms.. t< It . should. *also * be - capable u of clear 
identification .on Ahe aptual; ground,, ^^.and/thi^ identification. -should b.ei: 
made certain by. practical, means.; of /Supplementary -marking in r . addition- to ...... 

unmistakable '. landmarks, agreed upon by.- bQth ; arms., v. In Sicily the. second. . - 
phase was ^effectively, accomplished in. most instances, though there were, 
occasions when bomb- lines, were. undershot and elements of our own forces 
were mistaken for, enemy by the friendly.; bombers. 

d. The third phase, close-in bombing of objectives in 
conjunction with and directly ahead of a ground attack, is the most 
difficult of alJ. three phases to carry out. Successful operations of 
this nature require the highest level of coordination, timing, and 
preparation between the two arms, and to achieve the fullest success, 
prior training of both in cooperative action is believed necessary. 
In Sicily, the clcae-in bombing operations in support of ground troops • 
varied considerably with respect to the success achieved, In some in- ■ 
stances the bomb line was undershot, and friendly ' troops were subject to 
attack by our own air force; in others the degree of cooperation and sup- 
port was outstanding in its effective assistance to the ground troops. ; 
This experience from the ground force point of view was briefly stated- 
in the report of the Commanding General, 1st Infantry Division: 

- 61...- 

; . •During the initial stages of- this campaign it was not . 
uncommon to have our own air corps bomb or strafe our own 
.troops," and: in: some 'basest behind- the Division command .' - 4 - 
post. L&ssions v/hich called for close-in bombing of 'the* 
enemy often brought' bombs on our troops. ' An attempt, was 
made to rectify this by sendjjig :a : division, staff, of ficer 
to -the : airport with a . radio and having the air corps 
reciprocate by .sending pilots , to the:. Division .command "• 
• post with c&mmuriicatioh direct to the planes. 

The -air cprps was mos't willing to- cooperate, and in 
•therattack on -TRDINA a- closely coordinated air,'- artillery, '• 
and infantry attack went 'off with clbck-like precision. 
-The effect of this close- coordination* on 1 the eheiny was ; 
temporary complete demoralization, , The.' following .day the 
Germans;; commenced their- withdrawal' -from* TfiOINAv 

^ - : '' '-Tho -moral effect on the American "soldier in*. seeing ■• 
air (forces) supporting him in his small' battle, and the 

" devastating ■ ef f ect -it has on^ the' German soldier-makes- 
every effort for close coordination of the infantry and 
air ^arm-' a matter of. utmost importance. . " 

The Army Commander' has 'pointed out in his report that one of tlie best means 

of insuring^sucoess'-in-'close-in v support action is to provide special training 

of air 'units with ground troops, in order that both arms: may develop, full : 

understanding of the "problems and- workings of the other. Such training 

can serve: to prevent either- 1 arm expecting too much of the other, and thus; 

would produce' a greater degree of cooperation. The. same report pointed 1 out 

that "ground troops have a tendency ".to expect more prompt assistance. .■ . 

than is always possible. They must be taught that, it requires quite a 

while to mount an attack' with appropriate bombs, etc. -.-..» 


a. The instances in which friendly troops, were mistaken for 
enemy and were attacked by our own aircraft resulted from' a rtumber'-6f ■• 
possible, causes, the basic one being improper identification of the : . 
troops attacked. . It. is essential that the . air arm be i furnished with 
accurate locations : of friendly troops, and care must be exercised that 
these locations do not change., in the. interim between the . stated location 
and the arrival of the aircraft .over; the areas.. Likewise, it is essential 
that the bomb line which marks ..the safety limit of action near our own 
troops be clearly, and unmistakably capable of . accurate .identification 
by the pilots ♦ Several methods of insuring the latter condition can be adopted: 

~ " (1) -Pri.aii vagreeiftent:' -which/ delineates . the ,,-line by -a series 
of unmistakable landmarks-so positive of identification that they can be 

readily recognized by pilots at the high speed that the aircraft operate. 

. •. .'■ ' :'■:<£; ■',< t ' ••• 1 .-. •■■'/..*... • *• 

(2) "When such: landmarks.' are not available, or are not of • 
such character as to insure no possibility of mistaken identity, assistance 
by the ground forces through- the .medium of artificial landmarks' or supp- 
lements to existing landmarks. These may take the form of broad white 
letters or symbols by pre-agreement , in sufficient size to- admit of no 
mistake as to their identity. Such letters or symbols should at least be 
100 yards in length or width. Other expedients that may be adopted are 
the felling of trees in a symmetrical or recognizable, pattern, the marking 
of specified cross-roads or road junctions with lime, whitewash, or other 
media, when there is. a possibility of-the roads in question being confused 
by pilots at high altitude 'flying at great,- speed. . 

• - : (3) For night operations, identification may be ...accomplished- 
by the .'use of lights arranged in pre-selected pattern. • 

- - (4) The positions of forward elements -of ground troops are 
normally marked by colored smoke. At present yellow smoke has been used 
as the standard color for friendly position identification* In a country 
like Sicily at the season when the campaign was fought, withered and 
yellowed foliage and large areas of wheat "and other yellow 'grain can- 'be confused with smoke of this color when- observed at high altit- 
udes . It is reported by elements of - the 2nd;.-Armored Division that some , . 
of their.units; were v bombed by friendly planes despite their display of « • 
yellow smoke to signal" the presence of friendly troops.: Whether the smoke, 
was mistaken for the natural- elements ■ above mentioned- is a matter of 
speculation. * However,- the Air "Corpse has' recognized the danger of con- 
fusing yellow smoke with other .material, and recently stated in a. current 
operational bulletin: ."• 

u ;:'. ♦ For "marking the bomb line > colored smoke :is most satis- 
factory provided^ that red or forange color. is used and the 
smoke volume is -heavy. Black smoke is useless for battle 


•areas and yellow smoke is/too easily confused with. grass 
and brush fires. •." 

It is likewise, possible ..that the '.smoke, .grenades, now usedi such as were 

employed by.. the. armored units: aboye, , do.. not (produce sufficient volume 

of smoke, or do .not, build. up . their clouds in sufficient: time. 

Battle action produces a : . variety of smoke and dust 
clouds. White phosphorus smoke when commingled with dust clouds created 
by shellfire can also be confused, with yellow identification smoke . Because 
of the possibilities of such confusion, _ prior training of pilots in the 
observation of smoke signals in an area containing smoke and dust similar 
♦ to battle disturbances is believed to be valuable. 

. .. , a* The problem of identification of aircraft by ground troops 

has thus .far not been satisfactorily solved.. The use of such training 
aids as silhouettes, special schools in aircraft identification, training 
films, and 'playing cards'; have all been emphasized in the instruction of 
ground troops, but it is recognized that the results have not been of the 
level required* Ground troops' continue to 'open fire on friendly aircraft 
and this occurred in Sicily. 

b. An effective system of control of fire from ground troops 

on aircraft must be devised. Troops, must be disciplined and trained, to 

withhold fire until they are certain from hostile action that the planes 

are not friendly. Conversely Dilots must avoid flying over ground troops in 

such a. way that may lead the., troops to. mistake them for enemy. With reference 

to the landing operations in Sicily, the Commanding General of the 34th 

Coast Artillery (AA) ^reported: . 

. ..It was . evident that some system of fire control for all • 
units must be. devised. Time after time ground troops and 
naval vessels .would open fire-on friendly planes. 'Upon rec- 
ommendation of the AA Group Commander, the : — th Infantry 
Division directed that ground troops other than AA would 
fire only if directly attacked.. .In some cases the . 
(friendly) pilots themselves were at fault by flying • low 
over the ships or diving . in' the . vicinity of the ships. . 

The AA -Brigade "Commander also recommended that "types of friendly' and 
hostile aircraft' expected. to operate in the area (involved in an opera- 
tion) must be made known in time for intensive study by all troops." 


a. The campaign disclosed the need for better provision for 
the procurement and rapid dissemination of air photographs. The chief 
difficulty experienced was slowness in production and issue of the photo- 
graphs in a moving situation. Frequently by the time the prints were in 
the hands of the units, the situation had changed and the photographs 
were no longer useful., The Commanding General, "II Corps, reported: 

". . .The provisions for aerial photography, both for in- 
telligence, and for:' artillery'- use, were' not satisfy 
in this, campaign. Provisions must be made for quicker 
' dissemination of intelligohce-" photographs . '' Unless - wide- 
angle photographs are provided .for artillery use, the 
method's now taught at * the artillery school should be 
abandoned, in spite of the fact that such methods are 
■ ; highly efficient,' - '.. "'. " ■ : ' - - ' • .... 

b. The experience of. the Seventh Army Photo Liaison Section 

in securing artillery intelligence from air photograph interpretation 

sources was satisfactory. The Artillery Officer, Seventh Army, reported: 

". . .A photo liaison section of an officer pilot and an 
enlisted man was attached to the' Photo Interpretation 
Unit of the Seventh Army for the (Sicilian) 'operation.' Its 
mission was to secure artillery information from air 
photograph interpretation, and f orward it directly to 
artillery units.;' It also received requests for special 

'• artillery missions and transmitted them directly to- : 
the Photographic Squadron. . .Photos and photo inter- 
pretation reports were flown by officer pilot to II 

. Corps. A total of thirty-eight missions was accomplished*... 
This service proved" invaluable . in the dissemination of 

'vital artillery information, especially the locations 
of hostile batteries. . ." 

£ f The need for closer cooperation between reconnaissance 

aviation and the ground forces was disclosed throughout the campaign. 

The Commander of the 45th Infantry Division reported that the results. 

of air reconnaissance in conjunction with the - operations of his units 

were not satisfactory. Missions .requested could not always be carried 

out, and at times when, reconnaissance missions were flown, the results 

were, received too.". date.-rtio ' bV'?-u^eap^¥^^i^Qly^j/. The *Iff i 'C&rps Commander 
also ^recommended closer codpfeKatiolf be^ejrtf • the -''A^2 ! of. ^the. '.responsible 
air organization and -the* G-2 :.6*f ■ tbe^ Division;'-, rfor whom the missions are. 

• Sect ion viii : -results of 'effective unit training 

59. One highly significant lesson and conclusion is clearly- 
evident from the Sicilian Campaign. Units, especially those of the 
divisional level, which have had sound and thorough training in prepa- 
ration for combat demonstrated in exemplary manner that they can be 
capable of highly successful operations against veteran enemy troops 
in difficult terrain under; severe conditions not previously experienced. 
Several of the divisions that took: part, in the. assault on . Sicily and 
participated throughout, the campaign that followed bad had no previous 
combat experience. These divisions acquitted themselves in excellent 
style and conducted their operations with a degree of combat efficiency 
comparable to that of the veteran units of the Tunisian Campaign. The 
reason for this high degree of success on the part of units not hither- 
to in action can be attributed only to the excellence of their leader- 
ship, prior training, and preparation for combat. 

60. That combat ; experience is '/the best and ultimate form of' 
unit training cannot be disproved by. any .campaign. .But our experience in 
Sicily shows beyond-que'stion- that sound pre-comb at training can properly 
fit any organization- for '••battle, • and can produce results such as were v 
attained by the divisions referred to above. Conversely a poorly trained 
unit cannot learn profitably by combat, since it is not prepared to make 
the most of the battle experience it receives and the confidence that 
battle experience imparts to the soundly trained organization. 

61, ; There may arise a mistaken notion that much of pre-, 
combat . training is, .not effective, because . in . the final analysis troops 
can learn , only in . battle » Such a ; no tion has . been thoroughly exploded 
and disproved by actual experience in Sicily. The divisions that 
relentlessly drove the German veterans from the Island learned much., 
from the campaign, but -without the sound training they displayed 
initially, their task would not have been so well accomplished. 




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